TEXT OF PRESENTATION IN VIDEO:
HIRING & MANAGING PCA’S: Preparing for the Challenge
- Get savvy about all aspects of employing PCA’s.
- Learn strategies for canvassing; screening; Interviewing & Managing PCA’s
- Explore conflict resolution methods
- LICIL’s CDPAP—A Quick Review
- Finding candidates for the job
- Screening responses
- Conducting interviews
- References & Background Checks
- Steps to take once you’ve made your selection
- Signing-up PCA’s with CDPAP
- The Contract: Defining roles and needs
- Honing your management skills
- Avoiding difficulties
- Resolving problems
- The task of firing a PCA
- Attention to detail will go a long way to developing effective and lasting working relationships with PCA’s.
- Get comfortable with the various aspects of your role as employer
Finding Candidates for the Job
- Consult with friends who work with PCA’s.
- Place ads in local papers, including disability publications like Able Newspaper and those targeted to specific audiences, ie; ethnic groups.
- Place flyers on bulletin boards in local churches; colleges/universities; & libraries
- Take initial clues from phone calls received. GO WITH YOUR GUT!
- Avoid setting-up interviews with persons who make a negative impression on the phone.
- Arrange interviews with those who sound enthusiastic and demonstrate an understanding of job requirements.
- Hold the interview in a location where you are comfortable.
- Ask a friend to sit-in on the interview.
- Have a set of detailed questions prepared.
- Look for signals that indicate whether the applicant is a good match for the position.
- Ask the candidate to explain their understanding of the job and its requirements.
- Underscore any critical points, ie; house rules and unusual scheduling issues.
- Confirm facts about your daily routine & expectations of the applicant.
- Explain that you will conduct a thorough reference & background check.
- Discuss issues including required hours; pay; benefits; etc…
- Provide the opportunity for applicant to ask questions and let them know when you anticipate making a final decision.
Reference & Background Checks – “The Devil is in the Details”
- Information from sources like professional & personal references and law enforcement agencies are critical to ensuring that the person(s) working with you in your home are trustworthy.
- You cannot afford to take applicants at their word. Your safety and peace-of-mind could be at stake if you fail to check references and background data.
Conducting Effective Reference Checks
- Avoid applicants who cannot provide references.
- Contact ALL references provided by the applicant.
- Identify yourself and the reason for your call
- Keep a record of those you spoke with and their remarks.
- Confirm the reference’s relationship to the applicant.
- Ask how long they have known the applicant.
- Address issues ie; work ethic and honesty.
Background Checks: Getting the Information You Need
- Background checks are imperative, but also expensive.
- LICIL is introducing the opportunity for consumers to have these checks conducted at no cost to them.
- Those who wish to utilize this service must be very certain that this is a person they definitely wish to hire, as LICIL must pay $60 for each background check.
- In order to initiate a background check, you must provide LICIL with candidate’s full name; current mailing address; D/O/B; and Social Security Number.
- Turnaround time for results is 24 hours.
- If you choose not to use LICIL’s background check option, you will be asked to sign a release form.
- Currently, there is no limit on the number of PCA’s LICIL will investigate (within reason.)
You’ve Made Your Choice! Now What?
- It’s time to get your PCA(s) and backup staff registered with LICIL’s CDPAP program.
- Several important steps must be taken in order to allow the process to go smoothly.
Back-up Coverage—An Absolute Must!
- Since CDPAP affords you control over who works for you, you, in turn, are expected to arrange for back-up coverage in case your regular PCA is ill or on vacation. REMEMBER: LICIL is not responsible for providing back-up PCA’s.
- Therefore, in order to sign-up for the program, you must register a DSS-Assigned number of back-up PCA’s. (This number is determined by the hours of service your are deemed eligible for by DSS.)
The Contract – Defining Roles & Needs
- The CDPAP Contract is the document that identifies clearly the responsibilities & expectations of both consumer & PCA.
- It can be revised according to the needs of the consumer.
Training Your PCA
- Unlike traditional home care agencies, CDPAP empowers you – the consumer– to provide any necessary training of PCA(s).
- You know your needs better than anyone else, and therefore, are the person who should guide your PCA on issues of your care.
- Be clear from the outset and allow the PCA to ask questions in order to avoid problems later.
- Re-training may be necessary at some point, particularly if your needs change or a PCA could benefit from a refresher session.
Managing Your PCA: The Art of Diplomacy
- A good manager is an effective communicator.
- Help your PCA’s to feel that you are always approachable if they have a question or concern
- Make your expectations clear…
- But remember to be fair. The best consumer-PCA relationships are built on mutual respect and the ability to consider issues from the other’s point of view.
- Avoid asking your PCA to perform tasks not included in your contract agreement.
Steering Clear of Potential Problems
- Be clear from the outset.
- Always Communicate.
- Stick to the Contract.
- Be fair & Flexible.
- Don’t Manipulate.
- Address problems when they occur.
Conflict Resolution Tips
- Address concerns in a calm and professional manner.
- Avoid accusations whenever possible.
- Remain open to what the other person has to say.
- Explain where you are coming from without losing your temper.
- Suggest reasonable solutions.
- Arrange for an objective person to act as mediator if you cannot resolve the issue on your own.
The Decision to Fire A PCA: A Choice to be Made Carefully
- Don’t jump the gun. Good help is hard to find.
- Try every possible means to address & resolve problems BEFORE they escalate
- Be certain that your choice is based on fact rather than emotion.
- Never feel that you must continue working with a PCA who is physically or emotionally abusive.
- The opportunity to hire PCA’s and maintain control over who works with you is a spectacular opportunity.
- Finding the right PCA(s) won’t always be easy, but it is worth the “legwork” you must put into it.
- Utilize resources.
- Go with your gut.
- Conduct reference & background checks.
- Learn effective management skills.
- Stick to the contract & make boundaries clear from the outset.
- Have back-up PCA’s selected at your initial sign-up with CDPAP.
- Communication and willingness to address problems immediately can preserve a cooperative & successful consumer/PCA working relationship that will last.
- Make careful and thoughtful choices.
- Never remain in an abusive situation.
- Contact LICIL for guidance when you need it.
- Caregivers and Personal Attendants: How to Find, Hire and Manage the People Who Help You. By Alfred H. DeGraff
- Avoiding Attendants from Hell: A Practical Guide to Finding, Hiring & Keeping Personal Care Attendants. (2nd edition)
By June Price
Long Island Center for Independent Living, Inc.
3601 Hempstead Turnpike, Suite 208 & 500
Levittown, NY 11756
The Long Island Center for Independent Living, Inc.
is a non-for-profit organization established in 1980.
COPYRIGHT 2018, Long Island Center for Independent Living, Inc.