A word about safety

We believe in the goodness of people, but we look out for our Care.com community. Here are a few ways we promote safety behind the scenes.

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CareCheck

We background check caregivers

We background check caregivers

Caregivers are asked to complete CareCheck, the background check in our screening process. Caregivers who complete this background check will have a CareCheck badge on their profile.

CareCheck is a great start. But we strongly recommend families run checks of their own to make the best hiring decisions. We offer a suite of additional background check options for purchase, including a Criminal+ Motor Vehicle Records check. When you run an additional check, you get access to the full report so you can make the best hiring decision for your family.

What to know when hiring in Massachusetts

We're always on the alert

We're always on the alert

We monitor applications and messages for inappropriate behavior and language, spam, and fraud to ensure that our members are following Care.com community guidelines on our platform. Our safety measures also deter bad actors from coming back.

We take your reports seriously

We take your reports seriously

See something? Let us know. Look for the flag icon and click the Report link on the job application, messaging or profile pages. We review all reports. Bad actors are not welcome here and will be removed.

Let's take good care of each other

Let's take good care of each other

We put together these guidelines to help set a standard because how we treat each other matters a lot. We believe that our community should be driven by a set of values and conduct, based on respect, honesty, fairness, safety, and accountability. Any member may be temporarily or permanently removed for violating these guidelines.

Be respectful

All Care.com members are expected to give and return respect in every interaction. Communication or conduct that expresses hate, bullying, harassment, or discrimination is not allowed. And we have zero tolerance for any actual or attempted acts of physical or sexual assault, child exploitation or abuse, sexual harassment, violence, theft, human trafficking, fraud, extortion or creating or distributing pornographic material.

Be honest

Don't misrepresent yourself. Be truthful about who you are and provide accurate personal information. Don't claim skills, experience, licensing or certifications you don't have or send someone else to do work you agreed to do.

Be fair

Caregivers need care, too. Don't misrepresent your care-related needs and expect them to adapt. Show caregivers that you appreciate the special work they do and pay them a living wage, give them adequate time off, and set reasonable schedules.

Be safe

Care should be delivered in a safe manner and place, free of alcohol and illegal drug use, unsecured firearms, or other hazards. If it's your home: Be responsible. Outline and walk-through emergency procedures. If it's your workplace: Follow instructions and check in if anything unexpected comes up.

Be accountable

Stick to your schedule and give ample advance notice for any changes. Repeated late cancellations or no-shows, as well as non-payment for services, may be grounds for removal. Plus, watch out for the community and leave reviews, flag anything inappropriate, and conduct background and reference checks before a job starts.

5 steps to hiring safely

5 steps to hiring safely

We know that hiring a caregiver is a big step, so we employ a variety of important security measures to take the worry out of bringing someone new into your home. But families can and should be proactive when it comes to working with caregivers. Here are 5 ways you can make good decisions before and after you hire.

1

Be clear on your needs so you'll hear from the right caregivers

You can search for caregivers on your own. But you increase your chances of finding the best match by posting a detailed job description that lets caregivers come to you. The more you share about your needs and expectations, the better.

What should you include in your job posting?
  • Share a little about your family
  • Outline the job requirements in detail
  • Mention any benefits you offer, such as paid time off
2

Review caregiver profiles to narrow your list

Once you have a list of candidates, you'll want to look at their profiles carefully. Like what you see? Save promising profiles as Favorites, so you can easily come back to them later.

What to look for:
  • Is the caregiver's experience relevant to your needs?
  • Do they have safety verifications?
  • What do other families say?
  • Have they verified their phone number and email?
3

Connect with your top candidates

Take your time getting to know your final candidates. Use our messaging system so you don't share your contact info before you're ready. Then move on to phone or video interviews and arrange face-to-face meetings with your top choices. Don't be afraid to ask tough questions so you can see how they react to difficult situations.

What to look for:
  • Are they responsive?
  • Do they answer questions directly?
  • Are they respectful and professional?

Not sure what to ask? Read through our sample questions for phone and in-person interviews.

4

Check references and background checks

Found the one? Time to dig deeper into their past and search news articles, government websites, and social networks like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter. Assess their references and run a background check. Even though background checks aren't always perfect, have limitations, and can't guarantee future behavior, they make good sense.

Things to do:
  • Run a background check for up-to-date information on criminal records, sexual offenses, and driving history that you can keep on file.
  • Ask for 2-3 references. Schedule phone calls to chat with them live, preparing questions in advance.
  • Remember your responsibility as an employer to evaluate caregivers fairly and hire without discrimination.
5

Onboard and monitor your caregiver

Once you've hired, set the stage for a successful relationship:

  • Have a meet-and-greet with your family and your new caregiver.
  • Sign an employment contract that outlines the job responsibilities, pay rate, and hours.
  • Share contact information with each other.
  • Set ground rules for behavior and discuss them openly before their first day.
  • Discuss an emergency preparation plan and talk through handling of different situations.
  • Continually monitor your caregiver's activities by dropping in unannounced, and checking in with your children and neighbors.

Finally, always trust your gut. If something feels "off," don't ignore it. Talk to your caregiver or report them to Care.com.

Considering day care, too? Check out our day care safety resources.

Caregiver tips

Caregiver tips

You've created a profile that highlights your awesome caregiving experience and skills. After browsing jobs, you've selected families whose needs match your availability and qualifications. Now it's time to move forward. Here are important tips to do so with safety in mind.

1

Make the right connections online and offline

  • Send messages through Care.com instead of using your personal email or phone number. That way, you only share your contact information if and when you feel comfortable.
  • If families ask for your private information such as your Social Security number, bank account number or credit card before you've completed a thorough interviewing and hiring process, hold off. Even after you've completed the hiring process, be very careful before sharing such private information. If you're pressured, cross the family off your list.
  • Be very wary of any advance payments, large checks, requests to accept deliveries or make purchases, and offers to hire you without any vetting at all. These spell trouble. Learn more about common scam tactics.
  • When you interview with a potential employer for the first time, choose a public space and ask to see identification to confirm you're meeting with the right person.
2

Do your homework before accepting an offer

  • Online and third-party searches on a potential employer's name can reveal much-needed background information. Places to look: news articles, government websites, and social networks like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter.
  • If your employer's home will be your workplace, get the names of all adults who'll have access to the residence. Then, check them out online to make sure you'll be comfortable when they're around. Apart from that, request a tour of the home before beginning a job or on your first day to go over any concerns you may have.
  • Get on the same page about expectations. Define the tasks you will perform, the hours you'll work, and the rate you'll be paid, then have all the important specifics drawn up in a contract to prevent any misunderstandings down the road.
3

Keep safe on the job

Share your job schedule and location with your friends and family and let them know if those details change. Keep a charged cell phone with you at all times to stay in touch.

If something just doesn't feel right on the job, trust your instincts. Send a report to Care.com from the messaging or profile page. In the event of an emergency such as threats from others or a health crisis, call 911 immediately.

4

Understand your rights and responsibilities

It's crucial to know general employment standards that relate to caregiving, such as the right to have a written agreement with the family employing you, or the responsibility to maintain safety for yourself and others in your care. These online resources can fill you in on important details.

About household employee rights:
About emergencies and illegal activities: