The decision to hire a caregiver is often fraught with stress.
Horror stories of theft, neglect, and abuse abound. Many of these sad situations occurr due to lack of caregiver oversight by home care agencies and the lack of regulatory oversight of the agencies themselves.
Fortunately, as of Jan. 1, 2016, California requires home care providers to be licensed as Home Care Organizations (HCOs) under the oversight of the Department of Social Services’ Home Care Division. Additionally, all HCO-employed caregivers are now required to be registered with the Department of Social Services.
Ask three important questions when shopping for a home care provider:
- May I have your HCO number?
- Is the caregiver you’re sending to my home registered with the Department of Social Services, and, if so, may I have his/her registration number?
- May I have a copy of your insurance records?
If the answer to any of these questions is NO, keep shopping!
Keen Home Care is a full-service, licensed, and bonded home care agency.
- Are registered with the Department of Social Services (DSS)
- Have undergone comprehensive fingerprint and background checks processed by the Department of Justice
- Have been approved by DSS to work as caregivers for a licensed Home Care Organization
Unfortunately, many agencies state that they are licensed, when in fact they are not. Rather, they operate as a direct referral agency (DRA).
Direct referral agencies DO NOT:
- Have regulatory oversight by a government entity
- Have oversight as to whether their caregivers have undergone proper background checks
- Hire W-2 employees
Working with a Direct Referral Agency Can Cost You Big Time
Instead of hiring W-2 employees, DRA caregivers work as 1099 employees, which places you at risk for litigation for unemployment insurance, worker’s compensation claims, Department of Labor penalties for worker misclassification, state and federal penalties for unpaid payroll taxes, and labor code violations.
Keen Home Care’s Screening Process for Caregivers
- Verify registration with the Department of Social Services
- Reference checks with previous employers
- Personal reference checks
- Review DMV record
- Extensive interviews and demonstration of work skills
- Unannounced quality assurance visits once working in the field