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The Caring Support Blog

How to Hire a PSW for your Home

April 15, 2021

Are you looking to hire a PSW (personal support worker) for your home? Excellent. We know sometimes it is hard to take care of your loved ones due to work and other commitments, and not everybody has other family members available to help with this task. Whatever your situation is, PSWs are the best caregivers for providing support to your family or yourself, by assisting your loved ones with the daily activities they can’t do for themselves. Now, we understand you might be feeling a bit intimidated about the whole PSW hiring process, so in this article, we will talk about how to find a PSW for hire and what are the things you need to consider when doing this.

Find a PSW On Your Own or Through an Agency

The very first question you need to answer is if you are looking to hire a PSW job privately or through a home care agency. This decision will determine the entire process, as they require different steps, and they both come with certain advantages and disadvantages, depending on your perspective.

Related: All About PSW Job?

One of the main benefits of hiring a PSW privately is having direct contact with the caregiver that will provide support to your family and not having to include a third party (an agency) in your relationship. This is also true for the hiring process, which you can conduct yourself, setting your own wages and work conditions. Plus, the cost of hiring an independent caregiver is usually less than hiring an agency.

hire a psw

Additionally, by hiring an independent PSW you have the certainty that your loved one will be cared for by only one person, and that they will develop a relationship of trust and empathy over time. This doesn’t always happen with caregiving agencies because they sometimes assign more than one PSW to your home.

The benefits of hiring a PSW through an agency are the experience and training these PSWs have, in addition to the fact that all of them go through a careful recruitment process where they check for criminal background, education, and file all the necessary paperwork, so you don’t have to.

On the other hand, home care agencies have multiple caregivers they can send to your home, in case the one assigned to your case calls in sick, has a personal emergency one day, or you simply don’t like the service that he or she is providing to your loved one. Also, agencies are able to offer particular services such as bilingual caregivers or home attendants that perform specific duties like physical therapy and are usually available to provide 24-hour customer service in case something out of the ordinary happens.

hire a psw

Hiring a PSW for Your Home Privately

First things first, if you decide to go the private way to hire a psw , you need to find a PSW that is right for your family, with the right qualifications to provide the type of home care you need. To find these caregivers you can post ads on job boards, social media, or advertising websites. You can also ask around in your community for referrals, and once you have a list of possible candidates, start making the calls to schedule interviews.

It should be noted that hiring a PSW that is known and recommended by other people in your community will give you more peace of mind, however, there are many excellent caregivers out there looking for work opportunities that you shouldn’t reject, but you do need to take a set of extra steps to make sure the person is right for the job and to protect your family.

These are the general steps you need to take to hire an independent PSW:

1- Get a personal background check of your candidate, both locally and federally. This is an important state that will give you peace of mind. You can do this through your local police or through an online service like

2- Verify his or her education certificates directly with the academic institution they went to or through a specific service that does this. Also, ask him or her about any current courses they are taking or their plans to continue with their education.

3- Check their skills and qualifications. Depending on what you need, you have to make sure the qualifications of any potential PSW are a good match for your loved one. For instance, does he or she need to administer medication? Assist with hygiene activities? Feed your loved one?

4- Beware of PSWs asking to be paid cash or “under the table”, as this is illegal and it puts your loved one in potential danger because most times these types of PSWs have no malpractice insurance or may not even be legally entitled to work in the country.

One last thing and this is a big one. When hiring an independent PSW to work privately for you, you are the employer. This means you need to file all the paperwork (employment contract, tax forms, etc.), register as an employer to get workplace insurance, make sure your caregiver works the right amount of time, and pay for overtime when needed (holiday pay and vacation pay too). It sounds like a lot, but all of these processes are legally required of employers for their sake and the sake of their employees.

Hiring a PSW for Your Home Through an Agency

If you don’t want to deal with all the paperwork and processes of hiring a PSW on your own, and would also like to avoid all the risks that come with it; the best alternative is to hire a caregiver through a reputable home care organization.

Home care agencies have multiple personal support workers who have been selectively recruited due to their qualifications and skills to provide support to people in their own homes. These PSWs usually have lots of experience in the field, have had their criminal record and references checked, are protected by the company’s liability coverage, and are required by their agency to stick to a certain quality level when providing care.

personal suppoet worker

In addition, personal support workers coming from an agency are always qualified to meet your particular requirements because they are constantly trained and prepared to deal with a wide array of situations when caring for an elderly or ill person. Also, home care agencies usually perform an in-home assessment to determine what your needs are and who could be the PSW that better matches them. These visits also offer a lot of clarity about the type of services you will be receiving, schedules, care plan, questions, and concerns, etc.

A very important point in these cases is to choose the right agency for you. One starting point could be looking for one that is accredited through Accreditation Canada or registered with the International Standards Association (ISO), for instance. This is how you know you will be paying for the services of a trustworthy organization that is well known in the caregiving sector, so take your time in this process, and contact different agencies, read their reviews, compare the services they offer, and check their accreditations, before making a decision.

One final thing to consider is that many agencies are government-funded, which means that if your family qualifies for a personal support worker, the costs of hiring one may be covered by government subsidies, depending on the province where you live.

We hope these recommendations help you figure out the best way for you to hire a PSW. Feel free to leave us any questions or comments about this interesting topic. Good luck with your search!

About The Author
Laura Woodman
Content Marketing Specialist

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