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Your responsibilities when hiring paid caregivers or respite workers

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As an employer, you will need to manage respite caregivers or respite workers that you hire. This is your responsibility.

  • Check references of job candidates.
  • Clearly explain the responsibilities of the job to your respite worker.
  • Clearly state the terms of employment, including what the job pays and the hours and days the worker is needed.
  • Consider an optional criminal background check. You may request a Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) on a person you wish to hire as a respite worker. For additional information, telephone 617-660-4640, or email There is no charge for elders and people with disabilities to conduct a CORI on a careworker you wish to hire.
  • If your respite worker is to be paid by funds from a US government program, you will need to check the List of Excluded Individuals/Entities maintained by the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) of the US Department of Health and Human Services. To check if an individual is listed by the OIG, you need only to enter their name on the Exclusion Search page.
  • Supervise your respite worker by giving direction and feedback.  
  • Pay your worker in a timely manner;
  • Rewarding Work will conduct surveys periodically of respite families to determine their level of satisfaction. Please respond fully and in a timely fashion when you receive a survey. They are important in assuring that the Massachusetts Respite Directory remains a useful service.

    Job candidates in the Rewarding Work database have NOT been screened in any way and their backgrounds have NOT been checked. It is your responsibility as an employer to check references and backgrounds of people you may hire.

Click here for tips for hiring respite workers.

Click here for additional information about criminal background checks.

Who to call when issues arise between employers and workers >>

Additional questions or comments? Call toll-free at 866-212-WORK (9675) or email


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