As we all struggle through this pandemic, one thing is abundantly clear — caregivers provide a critical service and we need more caregivers throughout Napa County. Caregiving requires compassion and patience; it can be a flexible and a rewarding way to earn money, while also making a difference in someone’s life.
If you are a caregiver, or if you need to hire a caregiver, this article contains information you need to know!
In February 2020, the Board of Supervisors amended an ordinance requiring all caregivers providing in-home care in Napa County, for any sort of compensation, be background checked and screened for tuberculosis. The original ordinance, adopted in 2010, was the first of its kind in the state of California and demonstrated the commitment our community has to protecting vulnerable seniors and disabled adults and legitimizing the difficult and important work of caregivers. In 2016, the Home Care Services Protection Act was passed and this state legislation, supported by Bill Dodd, provided an opportunity to strengthen the local ordinance and it created a mechanism for community members and law enforcement to verify whether a caregiver was background checked and registered with the state of California. This led to the newly adopted Elder and Dependent Adult Protection Law.
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Does this new law mean that every caregiver working in Napa County must register with the state?
There are only four situations in which a caregiver is NOT required to register:
1. The caregiver is providing care voluntarily. This means they are not receiving ANY form of compensation, including room and board.
2. The caregiver holds a current license with the state of California (ie. registered nurse, licensed vocational nurse, certified nursing assistant).
3. The caregiver is an In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) care provider who ONLY works for IHSS recipients.
4. The caregiver works for a licensed Home Care Organization (ie. Senior Helpers, A Partner in Caring, Home Helpers, etc).
How does a caregiver register and how much does it cost?
The process is simple and it requires the caregiver to log onto the state’s Home Care Aide Registry website, and complete an on-line application form (cost is $35). After the on-line application is complete, the caregiver must get Livescanned (electronic fingerprints) to receive a DOJ and FBI background check (cost is approx. $70). The final step in the process is to contact the Napa County Caregiver Coordinator at 707-259-8789 and provide the caregiver’s name, DOB, e-mail, telephone number, PER ID# (issued by the state when registered) and proof that the caregiver has tested negative for tuberculosis. The state will notify the caregiver by mail when their background check has cleared, and their registration has been approved. Registration is good for two years and the state will notify the caregiver when it is time to renew their registration.
How do I determine if the caregiver I want to hire has complied with the law and is registered?
To check the status of a caregiver, call the Caregiver Coordinator at 707-259-8789, or go to the Napa County Website, click on the “Permits and Certificates” at the bottom of the home page, and then click on the “Registered Caregiver List” link. To verify that the caregiver is in good standing with the state, go to the CDSS Home Care Aide Registry website and type in the caregiver’s first and last name and PER ID#, which can be found on the Registered Caregiver List.
Where can I go to get more information or help complying with the law?
The Caregiver Coordinator at Napa County Comprehensive Services for Older Adults (CSOA) can help. You can reach the Caregiver Coordinator at 707-259-8789. There is also a lot of information on the County’s website, just go to www.countyofnapa.org/csoa and select Caregiver Registration.
This law came about because the Napa County Commission on Aging and a group of very dedicated individuals recognized the importance of protecting the vulnerable seniors and disabled adults in our community. They also recognized the valuable role that caregivers play. As Rosalyn Carter said, “There are only four kinds of people in the world: those that have been caregivers, those who currently are caregivers, those who will be caregivers and those who will need caregivers.”
Help us continue this important work by doing the following:
- Comply with the law if you are a caregiver and complete the caregiver registration.
- Before hiring a caregiver, check to make sure the caregiver is registered with the state.
- Call the Caregiver Coordinator at 707-259-8789 if you need more information or have questions.
For more information and an opportunity to ask questions, attend a virtual presentation by Tara Blakley from CSOA about the Caregiver Registration requirements on Wednesday, March 24, at 3 pm. To register and get the Zoom link, contact Elizabeth at Rianda House (707) 963-8555, ext. 103 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Rianda House column spotlights services, advocacy, topics, and timely events for UpValley older adults and their families offered by local agencies and Rianda House. This month, we are honored to welcome:
Tara Blakley, Supervising Staff Services Analyst
Napa County Health & Human Services — Comprehensive Services for Older Adults
650 Imperial Way, Suite 101, Napa, CA 94559