At South Florida Home Care we often get asked- “Where do you find your caregivers?” This is a very important question to ask a home health agency, but you will find that most often than not they will say the same thing- “We recruit using advertisements.” This is the actual truth and it is kind of universal with home health care agencies. The labor market for caregivers is usually the same from one organization to another. So the question should not really be “Where do you find your caregivers?” but “How do you screen and select your caregivers?”
Undoubtedly everyone at Home Health will tell you that they do Level II Federal Background Check, which is a fingerprint check. What they will not tell you is that this is a requirement for all caregivers going into the home, not to mention most health care personnel in general. The level II background check is the standard regulation, not something a company does above and beyond.
I think it is important to really know how these background checks work. State regulations state that a caregiver must have a Level II Background check within 2-years of the hire date, and with a current change in the states requirements for background checks- this time period might be extended to 5-years.
So if a person is clear of a background check two-years ago, how can a Home Health Care Company determine if the caregiver has been without legal problems in the last two years? Here’s the answer….they can’t.
I just gave you the industry norm, now let me tell you how South Florida Home Care selects its caregivers.
Along with doing a Federal level II background check SFHC performs an additional county and state background check. We do this immediately upon hiring so we have the most up to date record of our applicants legal history. Also, things like theft and substance abuse are not picked up on these federal checks as they are not included, with a county and state check however we pick up every since instance of arrest or conviction regardless if it is a felony or misdemeanor.
After we find them to be clear from these two criminal checks, we do a 7-panel pre-employment drug screen that must be taken a day after the interview. After the drug test comes back negative we than proceed to do two employment reference checks to check experience level and work ethics.
The final step of our hiring process is putting our caregivers through a specially designed 150-question assessment tool used to calibrate factors such as reliability, honesty/integrity, hostility and aggression. This tool allows us to have a system to ensure Caregiver Quality Assurance.
At South Florida Home Care we put patient care first.