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A caregiver is someone who provides different types of care to another. Giving care to another person is not new. It starts the minute a baby is born. A baby is totally dependent on family. As a child grows to be more independent, less care is required. When people age, and if their health declines, they can become less independent and more dependent on family to provide care.
Caregiving is helping someone out, assisting someone, nurturing them. It can range from Saturday grocery shopping for a grandparent to providing total care, such as transporting, bathing, feeding and dressing. The person you take care of doesn't have to live with you for you to be a caregiver. Assisting someone who does not live with you is also caregiving. So you see, if you help someone you are providing care - you are a caregiver.
Generally a caregiver takes on this role out of love and a sense of responsibility. As rewarding as it can be, it can also be extremely stressful.
About the Live-in Caregiver Program in Canada
Thousands of Canadian families and foreign nationals have participated in the Live-in Caregiver Program (LIC). Most have found it to be a rewarding experience, depending on the caregiver and the agency, but it is important to fully understand the program and what makes an agency reliable before deciding to participate. This material explains the program, answers some frequently asked questions and gives you some tips you need when selecting an agency to work with.
The LIC Program brings temporary residents to Canada as live-in employees to work without supervision in a private household to care for children, seniors or people with disabilities. Participants in this program may apply for permanent resident status within three years of arrival in Canada, after completing two years of employment as live-in caregivers. The LIC Program replaced the Foreign Domestic Movement Program on April 27, 1992.
Although merely a family member who will be living in the same house with you, the caregiver is to be treated as an employee. The employment relationship is to be governed by the domestic worker regulations in your province. Make sure that the agency you are choosing provides you with materials about the Employment Standards Act.
A signed employment contract between you and your caregiver is a legal requirement of the LIC Program. A contract is a written, detailed job description that also describes the conditions of employment, including the maximum number of hours of work per week, and the wage rate for those hours of work. Be sure that the agency you are working with sets out a contract where nothing violates provincial or territorial labour laws, which establish minimum employment standards such as the minimum wage and overtime payment for additional hours worked. The agency you are choosing should put together the contract for you. The following questions and answers might help you to choose the right agency.
What is the Live-in Caregiver Program?
The Live-in Caregiver Program allows professional caregivers to work in Canada. Caregivers are individuals who are qualified to work without supervision in a private household providing care for children, elderly persons or people who have disabilities. The live-in caregiver must live in the employer's home. Choose an agency that does not advise you against the law, which is to hire a live-out while the legal status of the caregiver is for the live-in program.
Placement agencies in Canada have the moral obligation and legal responsibility to follow the requirements of the program, within the regulations set by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC), Service Canada and the provincial or territorial labour laws. However many agencies on the market will advise you against the law. When searching for an agency do not choose the cheapest one, but the one providing you with all the information you need.
The minimum hourly rate is usually set up by Service Canada. When choosing an agency make sure that they follow the governmental regulations.
Although Service Canada confirms the offer of employment for Canadian families while CIC issues work permits for caregivers from all over the world, anyone can start a caregiver placement agency and anyone can place their Resume on-line, the responsibility for choosing the right agency rests solely with the host family and the caregiver.
THE SELECTION AND SCREENING PROCESS
Where do Caregivers come from?
Because the LIC Program is worldwide, caregivers can be from any foreign country. Make sure that you select an agency recruiting in more than one country. The more countries where the agency is recruiting, the better for you.
What kind of training and experience is required to be a Caregiver?
There are three main requirements a caregiver must meet to qualify under the LIC Program. A caregiver must:
- Have successfully completed the equivalent of a Canadian high school education.
- Have six months of full-time training or twelve months of full-time paid employment, in a field or occupation related to the job as a live-in caregiver.
- Be able to speak, read and understand either English or French at a level that allows the caregiver to function independently in a home setting.
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