Perceptions Of Supervisory Support And Status Of Home Care Workers In The Home Care Industry

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Shadoan, Kathleen
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A phenomenological qualitative research approach was used to study the problem of recruitment and retention challenges within the home care industry. This research was guided by a primary research question: How home care workers (HCWs) perceive the training and support that they receive in the home care industry? A literature review revealed that home care is not only challenging work but is undervalued throughout society in the United States and is often underpaid based on the complex tasks completed. Women are the primary providers of home care work in the private sector, within agencies, and for relatives. HCWs face many challenges and barriers to maintaining employment. The sample size for this study was ten HCWs at a mid-sized nonprofit, Caring Homes Inc., in San Francisco, CA. Criterion sampling was used to identify ten to fifteen currently employed HCWs who have experienced the phenomenon of facing challenges to maintaining employment. The methods of data collection were in-depth semi-structured interviews with each research participant for approximately 90 minutes. Bracketing through the use of reflective journal was used to reduce personal bias. A composite description of the formulated meanings of the participants lived experiences was provided to support each of the themes identified. Three themes were discovered; home care is challenging work, all of the participants were drawn to helping vocations, and generally HCWs did not feel supported from supervisors or other systems at Caring Homes. Two evidence based solutions are proposed: creation of a small care team care approach to HCW supportive supervision and client care and development of home care career lattices. If the proposed solution is implemented and successful it could be a replicable model for other home care agencies across California and the United States.
Creighton University
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