Since the creation of legislation to safeguard vulnerable adults, we have heard plenty of horror stories in the news around the care sector, and as such, there have been several cases in recent media of financial abuse to vulnerable adults. KTG Social Care feels that it is important to have as much information as possible prior to allowing a person into your home, and as such, would like to outline the key differences between employing a personal assistant and requesting care from a care agency.
Should you choose to opt for the personal assistant, you will have chosen the option that gives you the most control of your care. You will have complete control of the person you wish to provide your care, their working hours, pay and duties (within legal boundaries). It is often the least costly for you as an individual, however this also means that you will have legal responsibilities as an employer. This means that you are responsible for dealing with the tax and national insurance of your employee, as well as things like sick/maternity/paternity pay and setting up a work placed pension (you can get help with this). It isnt currently a legal requirement for you to get a criminal records check for your PA, however it is strongly recommended to do this check as it reduces the risk to yourself of abuse.
The alternative to this is to go through a care provider. Any respectable care provider will do all that they can to tailor the package to suit the service user wherever possible, however it is not always possible and a compromise to the ideal may have to be made. This option is usually more costly, as the cost will include the costs for payroll, overheads and a profit margin, however the care provider is responsible for employer duties, and the care comes with a much lower security risk. In order to be compliant with regulatory bodies, each care worker employed is required to undertake a criminal records check through the DBS on top of the stringent employment checks. These checks do not eliminate the risk of abuse, however the risk is significantly reduced through both criminal and character profiling.
To summarise, the key elements are that the care provider will be more expensive however will perform checks on each employee to do all that can be done to restrict any risk on the service user. Ultimately, the decision boils down to how confident you feel in your ability to find an experienced and trustworthy carer that you can have complete trust in.