January 9, 2017 at 10:27 pm #146309Employing PAs
I have just worked out that I have been employing PAs for over 17 years now. that is over half my life!!
I thought I’d start a thread about employing support workers/PAs/carers. Please feel free to pitch in or ask questions. I don’t have answers to everything but I have had a fair bit of experience.
It all began when I came home from university where I had had CSV (Community Service Volunteers) at university. My Mum had returned to work while I was studying so I did not have any clue what to do regarding care once I was back. Thankfully, my Social Worker was very on the ball and arranged for me to meet with the Independent Living Adviser in my area to discuss Direct Payments funding from Social Services. It sounded just the right thing for me from the word go and I think we were all quite relieved. The adviser explained that his service would support me as much or as little as I needed with regard to recruiting, advertising, interviewing and showing me the ropes with the payroll.
First step was to get assessed. This was quite laborious and difficult to put in terms of minutes/hours in the day I needed help for what activities. As I was still living with my family, it was a relatively small care package to start so as not to intrude too much in family life and also, my parents were still able to provide care at that stage.
I aim to discuss more over the next few weeks, give some tips, share experiences. Things you need to do as an employer to protect yourself and those you employ.
I remember worrying as a teenager what would happen as I got older and my condition progressed. How was I going to live independently and cope with always needing help. Well it worked out ok, I have been able to do some wonderful people with a great team supporting me and I have to credit some of my good health and wellbeing to them, for giving me the foundations to get on with my life.
To be continued…
A learning experience is one of those things that say, “You know that thing you just did? Don’t do that.” - Douglas AdamsJanuary 10, 2017 at 10:27 pm #146340Reply To: Employing PAs
I am in process of getting a PA budget for carers to self employ and manage. All came about when my main carer/mum was ill in hospital and the voluntary help broke down and was not really effective.
Been looking over Cvs and applications for some. awaiting actual monetary budget from council. As I will be interviewing shortly. what questions could I ask?January 11, 2017 at 12:44 pm #146349Reply To: Employing PAs
When I used to interview staff for work I always asked teh question ” If there were no such things as qualifications, what would you most like to be?”. I found it gave some really interesting answers but also got to the heart of what mattered to them. For example someone who said nurse or doctor would be looking to carer for people. on the other hand I did have one who answered “an international hit lady”. Clearly when applying for a job in the medical world that was not the most appropriate answer!
You might also enquire as to how flexible they can be, as I am sure you know better than anyone that you circustances can quickly change. Clearly other things like previous experience, where do they see themsleves in say two years time, what do they know bout MD , are all good starting points.
So many love songs, so little love.embayweatherModeratorPosts: 8Joined: 02/11/2015January 11, 2017 at 4:30 pm #146362Reply To: Employing PAs
I ask potential PAs to fill in an application form so that can be a good staring point for questions. I include questions about availability, ability to work at short notice. It is a good idea I have realised to ask about school holidays if they have young children. I try to gauge their interests, personality etc. as it is so important, given the nature of the work, that we get on. I make allowances for nerves and do my best to put them at ease but being able to communicate effectively and use initiative are things I make a mental note of.
I don’t have set questions as such. Engaging in conversation about past work experience and education can be useful. I don’t require past experience in care but it can be a good icebreaker and provides an insight.
My application form has a section for a personal statement where they can write why they are applying and what they think they will bring to the job.
The only other thing I can think of is to check that they are ok with the manual handling side of things and have no underlying back or knee problems.
Things on the application form:
Personal details – name, D.O.B. etc.
Past work experience/positions
Clean driving licence?
Able to drive a car other than my own?
Why do they want apply/think they would be suitable?
Short notice availability?
Do they require a permit to work in U.K.?
A learning experience is one of those things that say, “You know that thing you just did? Don’t do that.” - Douglas AdamsJanuary 12, 2017 at 12:46 pm #146379Reply To: Employing PAs
What about pets?. I don’t have any at the minute but at some point would like another cat and we have regular doggy visits.
how do I approach this. allergy wise and work task as well. If I was alone for a few days the cat would need fed and litter cleaning. any tips for approaching this.January 12, 2017 at 6:23 pm #146403Reply To: Employing PAs
I think if they are likely to come in contact with pets then it is something you can ask at interview. “Do you have any pet allergies?” – that could lead you to explaining why you ask perhaps.
A learning experience is one of those things that say, “You know that thing you just did? Don’t do that.” - Douglas AdamsJanuary 19, 2017 at 9:52 am #146559Reply To: Employing PAs
Other things you need to do or know about
If you are employing PAs you’ll need insurance and there are a number of companies that specialise in this sort of thing. I pay a lump sum every 3 years which brings the yearly cost down a bit but there are different payment plans. This is so important as it protects you and your PA.
Then there’s the payroll… I do this myself using a software package. The whole procedure has changed considerably since I started – I have evolved with it but if I was starting now I may well have opted for a payroll company to do this for me.
Depending on your funder there could be training courses you can send you PA on that are compulsory or optional. If available, they are usually free and cover things like Manual Handling, Food Hygiene, First Aid.January 19, 2017 at 5:24 pm #146607Reply To: Employing PAs
Do I need to get additional House insurance?. A friends PA dropped curry on a light cream carpet. is it advisable to have insurance to cover this kind of accidental damage. I used to pay extra as I had a cat and she didnt kill the cream carpets lol
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