Questions to Ask Home Care Providers

Home Instead of Santa Monica, California believes families should have the knowledge needed to choose the best home care company for them. Below are interview questions to ask each home care company that can help you compare one company with another.
(Home Instead answers are in purple.)

1. Is your company a Licensed Home Care Organization (HCO) in California?  What is your HCO License number?

Yes, we are licensed by the California Department of Social Services. In January 2016, California law established the Home Care Services Consumer Protection Act which requires Home Care Organizations to be licensed and creates a public online registry for Home Care Aides who have been background checked with the Department of Justice and the FBI. All Home Care Organizations must have a license to operate in California.

Our HCO license number is 194700163.​​​

2. Does your agency have 100% employer responsibility for the caregivers?  Or does the client assume some, or all, of the employer responsibility and risk?

Home Instead employs all CAREGivers as W-2 employees, as required by California State Law. We maintain 100% of the employer responsibility for our CAREGivers, including: payroll, tax withholdings, annual training competencies, bonding & licensing and workers compensation insurance. Our Clients, and their families, carry zero employer responsibility or risk when receiving care through Home Instead.

3. Are all your caregivers Registered Home Care Aides (HCA) in California?

Yes. All Home Instead CAREGivers are Registered Home Care Aides with the State of California and have cleared a DOJ & FBI background check with fingerprinting.

4. Have all your caregivers been trained?

Each of our CAREGivers completes a comprehensive, multi-phased training program before they ever meet or serve a client. Each CAREGiver is also required to complete 5 hours of Annual Training, as well as participate in periodic ongoing training programs, as we develop them. Specialized training modules for advanced levels of caregiving, such as Alzheimer's and Dementia care are also required for our employees.

5. Have all the agency’s caregivers passed criminal background checks, drug screenings, and driving record checks?

Home Instead requires drug screening of all CAREGivers. We also conduct thorough background checks on all prospective CAREGivers. We will not send anyone into your home that we wouldn't invite into our own. It's that simple.

6. Are your caregivers Bonded and Insured?

Each person who enters your home is bonded and insured to protect you against loss. We believe in taking care of the people who take care of you or your family.

7. Does your agency cover the caregiver with Workers’ Compensation coverage?

Yes. Home Instead carries Workers Compensation Insurance to protect each of our CAREGivers in case of a work related injury.

8. Can you check references on the agency?

Yes. Home Instead has online reviews from Clients on our websiteGoogle and Additional client references are available, upon request.

9. Does the agency offer back-up / replacement caregivers, if the regular caregiver is unavailable?

Yes. We have a team of CAREGivers that readily fill-in when the Client’s regular CAREGiver needs to request a day off or is out sick.

10. How much flexibility will you have in setting a schedule for services?

Flexibility is crucial to customize each Client’s care schedule. Home Instead can provide as little as a 4-hour visit, or as much as round-the-clock care, depending on the need of the Client. Clients can adjust the care schedule, as needs change, by coordinating schedule changes with our team (available 24/7).

11. How does your agency provide quality oversight of the care provided?

From our initial care consultation and client onboarding, to ongoing communication with you, your loved ones and our caregivers, and our regular Quality Assurance visits, our Home Instead team will ensure that your loved one is safe and thriving in their home environment!