Caregivers hired for seniors have a more rigorous screening and hiring process that most employees, including nannies. This is because senior caregivers become a friend and confidant to their clients and many times are working with a senior who may have memory loss. It is very important to make sure the caregiver not only has the skills and experience required for caregiving but is also dependable and trustworthy.
Professional caregivers also want to be sure that hiring senior home care agencies have policies in place to both guide and protect them from anything inappropriate as they want to continue to work in the senior care field.
How do agencies screen caregivers?
The first step is a multi-state criminal background check. Caregiverlist provides information on background check laws by state and advocates that you should run fast if a company is offering a "free" background check - lots of websites, including nanny websites, offer free checks and a good background check is going to cost at least $15.00. Most free checks are simply a name and social security number match and perhaps a sex offender search as these are computerized and regularly updated (mandated by law). But there are many, many counties in the U.S.A. who do not have computerized criminal records or who do not update these records daily and for this reason, to adequately do a criminal record check, you need a human to have access to the courthouse and pay the fee for accessing these records.
Caregivers then must pass a telephone screening to be invited for an interview. Caregivers invited for an interview must fill out an application and then meet with usually a few of the company executives (Case Managers, Staffing Coordinators, Field Supervisors) and then attend a training session and successfully complete a training test.
Reference checks are conducted on only the caregivers the agency chooses to hire. Reference checks include personal and professional references to learn about the caregiver's dependability and character.
Information verified in reference checks include:
- Dates of employment at former jobs
- Attendance record
- Reason for leaving job
- Strengths of the employee
- Weaknesses of the employee
- Asking if the former managers would hire the individual to take care of their own parent or grandparent
Most agencies require 3 personal and 3 business references from caregiver job applicants. There are many kind and caring caregivers seeking to share their skills with seniors in need of care and the hiring process, including checking references, helps validate the caregiver's qualifications.
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