This week, an applicant called to inform us that she needed to adjust her reported availability due to being hired part-time by another agency. I had to inform her that her application had been declined due to a conviction for driving under the influence that had appeared during our initial screenings. “Oh”, she replied, “That is not an issue for many agencies out there.” Exactly! But it certainly is for us! At Cascade Companion Care, we aim for the cream of the crop in potential caregivers. Applicants are put through a rigorous screening process that is not for the faint of heart. Its design is to ferret out caregivers who would not be persons of integrity, reliability, compassion, and skill. If you were to submit an application to work at Cascade Companion Care, this is what you could expect:
- Your application would be screened by our Human Resources Manager, who would check for depth of experience, credentials, English communication skills, and negative responses on all questions about pending or past criminal offenses.
- You would be invited to an interview with the Human Resources Manager and Case Managers. At the interview, you would usually be introduced to our owners.
- Your pre-interview packet would require written responses to 30 questions, permission to verify employment and references, and permission to conduct a background check and obtain fingerprints.
- Your oral interview would include questions touching on experience, training, attitudes toward seniors, strengths and weaknesses, problem solving and de-escalation, availability, motivation, and long term goals.
- A successful oral and written interview would result in external verification of citizenship status, federal and state background checks, and references from professional and personal references.
- Only with the weight of this accumulated information would you be sent an offer of employment.
- At the time of orientation, you would be required to present identification, proof of citizenship, copies of professional certifications (which would still be verified independently), proof of auto insurance, an abstract of driving records from the Department of Licensing, and a urine toxicology test. You would be provided with a written job description, employment contract, and 1 ½-2 hour orientation.
- You would receive deadlines for certification renewals and continuing education completion, which are tracked by staff.
- Only now would you be issued a Cascade Companion Care name tag and welcomed to our team!
A recent Huffington Post article bemoaned the fact that many agencies carelessly hire dangerous caregivers. As Sara Gates reported: “Be careful who you entrust to care for your parents. New research from Northwestern Medicine suggests that many nursing agencies recruit people with no experience to provide in-home care for seniors off Craigslist. The study, published Friday in the Journal of American Geriatrics Society, found that many agencies nationwide fail to conduct criminal background checks or drug testing for new hires and don’t require any real experience or training, which may lead to elder abuse.” At Cascade Companion Care, we view the care of your loved one as a sacred trust. It may not be an issue for everyone out there, as our rejected applicant found out . . . but it is for us!