When family caregiving follows you to work. Part 6 of 9

When family caregiving follows you to work. Part 6 of 9

A nine-part series for family caregivers and employers. When family caregiving roles conflict with work and career obligations.

Part 6 of 9: I have been answering a list of questions that come via email to the weekly virtual seminar that I cohost. The weekly seminar is called GOING HOME, STAYING HOME.

Q: If I am hiring a private caregiver for my parents, should I do a background check for every applicant? Are there other tips for making sure a possible helper is a good fit?

A: Yes, you should do a background check with good caregiving work reference verifications. There are two ways to conduct a background check. One way is to use the potential helper’s name, address, date of birth and social security number and run them through an online criminal background check system. The second way uses the name, fingerprints, social security and date of birth. It is best to use the second method because fingerprints are unique to each person and the margin of error is slim to none. If a potential helper’s name or date of birth is typed incorrectly, that person could erroneously pass a background check. The local sheriff, police and the state bureau of criminal investigation offices are the best places to obtain fingerprinting services from. It is a cumbersome process for individuals, but all home care agencies have established standards for obtaining background checks as required by the state licensing bureau. Three other tips for hiring an appropriate home helper include;

  1. Ask for an updated resume or written work history to be sure that the potential helper is actively employed or has an explainable break in work history.

  2. Ask for a verifiable copy of a ten-panel drug screen. Many occupational health clinics and lab testing companies offer drug tests to individuals.

  3. Request at least three previous caregiving work references. Ask the references about the strengths and weaknesses of the potential helper. I do assist families with finding, screening and managing care, so if I can be of help to you in the area of screening, please call or email me.