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If you use an agency to help you find your in-home caregiver, the agency may also strongly encourage you to pay for benefits, such as health insurance, vacation, and/or sick time.

In the past few years, the business of training, recruiting, and placing in-home providers (or nannies) has expanded rapidly. Today there are local and national agencies that specialize in connecting families with caregivers. These agencies often charge substantial placement fees for their services. Each agency has its own policies and procedures, which may include refund and/or replacement policies in the event the arrangement does not work. Another way to find in-home care is to advertise for applicants yourself.

Whichever route you choose, caution is important. There are no government-required qualifications for in-home caregivers or standards for the agencies and schools that place and train them. Regardless of how you have located your potential caregiver and what prior screening has been done, be sure to thoroughly interview all applicants and check their references.

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