California Caregiver Requirements

In the state of California, Home Care Aides must be registered through the California Home Care Aide Registry. Home Care Aide’s (HCA’s) can be registered through a licensed Home Care Agency or as an Independent Home Care Aide. The California caregiver requirements are the same no matter if the caregiver is employed through an agency or acts as an independent private caregiver.

In this article I will walk you through the requirements for someone to be a caregiver in the state of California, including any licenses, certifications, or training needed. If you are looking to hire a private caregiver, make sure you ask about their home care aide registration and ask them to provide you with a copy. If they are not already registered, you can provide them with this article.

If you are interested in becoming a caregiver, read through the necessary requirements and follow the instructions to get registered.

I was operating my in-home care agency when these licensing regulations went into effect in California so I am intimately familiar with this process. If this article doesn’t answer your questions, please reach out to me. I’d be happy to help you navigate this.

What is a Home Care Aide?

An independent Home Care Aide is defined as an individual, 18 years of age or older, who is not employed by a home care organization, but who is listed on the home care aide registry and is providing home care services through an agreement directly with a client.

A home care aide, by definition, is the same thing as a Caregiver. Typical job responsibilities include providing non-medical care for a specific client. This could include personal care, homemaking services, personal assistance, companionship, and assisting with errands.

A caregiver may register as an independent Home Care Aide initially and decide at a later point to work for a Home Care Agency. In that case, the Home Care Organization may request a transfer of the Home Care Aide’s registration (including background clearance or criminal record exemption) once the Home Care Aide is registered on the Home Care Aide Registry.

Licenses / Certifications Required

In California, being a private, non-medical caregiver does not require that you have a special license. However, some typical caregiver duties may require specific certifications, such as a medication administration certification. A Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) and Home Health Aide (HHA) do require certifications as their job descriptions require more hands-on personal care.

Requirements to be a Caregiver in California

In order to become a Registered Home Care Aide in the State of California there are a few requirements. You must:

1.  Complete the Home Care Aide Registry ApplicationCalifornia Caregiver Requirements

2.  Submit LiveScan fingerprints

3.  Pay the 2-year registration fee ($35.00)

4.  Complete Statement of Prior Criminal Records (LIC 508)

5.  Complete Mandated Reporter Acknowledgement (SOC 341A)

6.  Have a TB clearance within 90 days prior to application or within 7 days after completing your application

Training Requirements

Once the application process is completed, all HCAs must undergo some initial training.  There are also annual training requirements.

Initial, Entry-Level Training

Prior to working with a client, you must complete 5 hours of entry-level training (2 hours of orientation and 3 hours of training)

If you decide to go to work for a licensed home care agency, they will provide the initial entry-level training. Or, you can use an online training program such as the Caregiver Training University by CaregiverList if you are registering as an independent caregiver. Either way, hold on to your training certificate as it is transferable and can be used to prove that you have undergone the initial training should you change employers or clients.

Annual Training

In order to maintain your certification you must complete 5 hours of annual training (with verification) by an approved training organization

Again, if you work for a licensed home care agency, they will provide the annual training needed to fulfill the state requirements. Otherwise, you can use an online training program that fulfills the requirements of the state of California.

Let’s Get Started

Now that you know what’s required, let’s get started. Below are the steps to register as a Home Care Aide in California.

1.  Complete the Home Care Aide Registry ApplicationCalifornia Department of Social Services

2.  Submit LiveScan fingerprints

3.  Pay the 2-year registration fee ($35.00)

  • If you use the online registration process you can pay your fees online.
  • If you use the paper application process, you can mail the completed application, the criminal record statement (LIC 508), and the $35.00 application fee (via check or money order) to the HCSB at:  California Department of Social ServicesHome Care Services Bureau, 744 P Street, M.S. 9-14-90, Sacramento, CA 95814

4.  Complete Statement of Prior Criminal Records (LIC 508)

  • Included in the online application

5.  Complete Mandated Reporter Acknowledgement (SOC 341A)

  • Included in the online application

6.  Have a TB clearance

  • Within 90 days prior to application or within 7 days after completing your application

 

That’s it!

That’s all it takes to become a registered Home Care Aide in the state of California. It’s a profession that will be full of rewards as well as personal and professional growth. Let me know in the comments below if you have any questions. Or, if you’ve been through this process, let me know how it went for you.

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