Earlier this month, news broke that Sheila Lirio Marcelo — founder and CEO of care.com — was resigning her post after 13 years. The announcement came months after a blockbuster Wall Street Journal report detailing how the largest online marketplace for babysitters and adult caregivers failed to conduct background checks on providers using their service. The story found,
“In about 9 instances over the past six years, caregivers in the U.S. who had police records were listed on Care.com and later were accused of committing crimes while caring for customers’ children or elderly relatives… Alleged crimes included theft, child abuse, sexual assault and murder.
The Journal also found hundreds of instances in which day-care centers listed on Care.com as state-licensed didn’t appear to be.”
Wall Street Journal reporters also detailed a number of heartbreaking instances where young children died or were molested while in the care of sitters found through the site.
Not an Employer
These tragic situations come as a direct result of the company’s approach to business. Care.com bills itself as an online marketplace connecting independent caregivers with consumers who need their services. It’s challenging for many families to find affordable, qualified caregivers for their children and older adult relatives, so it’s easy to understand why consumers would see value in such a service. But because care.com views itself as a platform and not an employer, it leaves many important details to individual users. According to the CEO, interviewed as part of the story, “[c]are.com is a marketplace platform, like Indeed or LinkedIn,” Ms. Marcelo said. “Like those services, we do not generally verify the information posted by users, interview users or conduct employment-level background checks.”
The Journal’s report reveals that in many instances, care.com users may be unwittingly trading convenience and minor cost savings for caregiver competency and client safety.
The Advantages of Employee Caregivers
While care.com claims to be a marketplace disruptor for traditional nanny or caregiver agencies, these recent findings remind us that disruption doesn’t always serve the end user. Where caregiving is concerned, hiring an agency with strong employment practices actually protects consumers and provides valuable peace-of-mind.
Generations Home Care LLC, for example, employs each of its caregivers and administers a comprehensive background check before they begin working. We also pay all payroll taxes for our employees. Consumers hiring caregivers directly often don’t realize they may be responsible for paying that person’s employment taxes. We’re also fully insured, protecting our caregivers and clients which may not always be the case when hiring directly.
All our caregivers must obtain first aid and CPR certification, and re-certify every 2 years. They also must have proof of negative TB on file which we renew every 2 years, provide a valid driver’s license or state ID, and have proven caregiver work experience. We provide ongoing training and supervision. In addition, our scheduling software allows us to manage our caregivers in real-time. Generations Home Care LLC provides 24/7 on-call, as well as complimentary assessments to open cases and care coordination.
Caregiving is an Important Responsibility
Caregivers don’t repair cars or patch drywall holes or fix your plumbing. Unlike other service providers, caregivers are responsible for the health, safety, and wellbeing of other human beings. And unlike other service providers, consumers should expect more than a simple service referral. Generations Home Care holds itself to a higher standard to ensure we employ only the most competent, empathetic, and caring employees. Not just because it’s good for business, but because it’s the right thing to do.
About Generations Home Care
Generations Home Care personalized in-home care and support services help those recovering from illness, injury or surgery, living with a chronic disease, or dealing with the natural process of aging. We help people live a fuller, healthier and independent life.
We offer levels of care ranging from companionship, to respite for the primary family caregiver, to homemaking services, to assistance with activities of daily living, to Alzheimer’s and dementia care. Generations Home Care takes a holistic approach and emphasize a consistent, client-centered plan of care.
Our Specialty Services Include:
- Rehab or hospital-to-home programs for safe discharge.
- Short-term post-operative care during recovery periods.
- Non-medical life management services for people with chronic conditions.
- Veteran’s connection to care program.
- Live-in services and couples care.
If you’d like to learn more about how we can help you, contact us today at 602-595-HOME (4663) or by filling out the contact form on our website.