Home Care Agencies vs. Caregiver Registries

How Do Home Care Agencies and Home Care Registries Differ?

Selecting someone to care for your loved one can be an overwhelming task. For many families, understanding the difference between a home care agency and a home care registry adds an additional layer of complexity.

We believe the process of selecting someone to care for your loved one should be simple and transparent. We believe the process of starting home care should be a comfortable transition for the person receiving care and for your family. We believe you should be part of your loved one’s care, but not have to actively manage all aspects of their care.

Understanding the Differences

The main difference between an agency and a registry comes down to managing the caregiver. When you select a home care agency, we manage the caregiver assigned to providing your loved one’s care. When you select a home care registry, that task falls largely to you. To see the difference, see the chart below for comparison.

Home Care Registry

A home care registry acts as an employment services for skilled and unskilled caregivers. Requesting an employee referral from a registry is very similar to hiring a person on your own. When you use a registry, you are responsible for managing the caregiver, handling payroll tax withholdings, and in some cases conducting a background screening.

Home Care Agency

We provide in-home care services based on a written plan of care we create with you and the person needing care. We perform rigorous background checks as part of our hiring process, and we professionally supervise our caregivers to ensure your loved one is receiving the best care possible. We provide our home health aides, CNAs, homemakers and companion caregivers with continuing education as well as ongoing training and support.

  Serenity Care Registry/Direct Hire
Are caregivers employees of the company you pay for care? YES Maybe*
Does the company verify that caregivers can legally work in the United States? YES Maybe*
Have all caregivers undergone rigorous criminal, abuse registry and reference background checks? YES Maybe*
Are caregivers company-trained before they are assigned to homes, and do they receive ongoing training? YES No
Are Social Security, federal and state taxes, and unemployment insurance paid so the family is not legally responsible? YES No
Is workers’ compensation insurance (or the equivalent) paid so the family is not Legally Responsible? YES No
Is professional liability insurance for the caregiver paid so the family is protected? YES No
Are the caregivers bonded/insured? YES No
Does the company conduct supervisory home visits to verify quality care is being provided? YES No
Does the company provide qualified replacement care if the scheduled caregiver cannot make it? YES No
Does the company develop a written care plan? YES No

*Currently, there are no federal laws requiring background checks prior to hiring a person. Each state has its own requirements as to whether background checks are mandatory, and if mandatory, what a background check consists of. Federal laws do require all employers to verify an employee’s eligibility for legal employment in the United States. However, whether or not any caregiver will be considered by the registry to be an employee or independent contractor depends on that registry. It is recommended that you investigate any registry you are considering.

We know you have options when it comes to home care services and we believe you should understand the differences between home care agencies and home care registries. Knowing the differences will help you make an informed decision that best meets the needs of your family and the person needing care.

Better Home Care Through a trusted Agency in:

Marion, Hancock, Hamilton, Hendricks, and Johnson