Posted by Eva Owens
Home care aides are in high demand, as the direct care industry is rapidly growing in the United States. The Carina platform meets the need for access to home care by connecting consumers and home health care aids. The easy-to-use platform quickly helps caregivers and their employers move from online to offline professional interactions.
Carina gives workers and consumers a voice and agency. Both parties can use Carina to set preferences, send messages, and schedule interviews. The working relationship is transparent about when, how, and what compensation the home care aide will receive.
The Problem and the Solution
The increasing demand for home care aides is significant. DSHS projects a need for more than 76,000 aides by the year 2030, up from 45,000 working in 2019.
Before Carina, DSHS ran a small referral system, but most consumers relied on word of mouth or websites like Craigslist to find aides in their area. A key concern was how to manage in a situation where an aide was not able to work for personal or medical reasons. DSHS needed a strategy to connect aides to more work hours and to provide consumers with access to a verified pool of available aides… And Carina was born!
Carina was created through a collective bargaining agreement between Washington State and SEIU 775. Since DSHS has fully-funded Carina, once a connection is made through Carina, state case managers authorize the match, and payment for the aide’s services can begin.
Person-Centered Design and Functionality
Carina was designed to be easy to use, accessible for everyone, and provide easy-to-find user support. It can be used through any browser and on any digital device with an internet connection. Carina also offers a multi-language phonebased help line.
Built with the end user in mind, Carina has a search tool that allows consumers and aides to search using a wide range of parameters, including estimated travel time, gender, care needs or care skills, language, and more. Carina uses texts to alert aides and consumers about new users who meet their requirements.
The Stats on Carina
Over 15,000 people have joined Carina and 1,500 jobs have been filled using Carina since May 2017.
- Each job provides 80 hours of work per month on average, allowing many aides to work full time hours and become eligible for healthcare benefits.
- Almost half of all users log on at least monthly.
Partnership and Growth
Carina was developed with input from home care aides, consumers and their families, state agencies, and advocacy organizations, such as SEIU 775, Disability Rights Washington and the ARC of Washington. These partners introduced Carina to home care aides and Medicaid consumers.
We are thrilled to announce that Carina has continued to receive additional funding to explore opportunities for expansion. Carina has begun to market both the online platform, as well as sharing our marketing and outreach methodology to interested partners around the country.
The Annie E. Casey Foundation. (2019, August 26). Taking Action: Positioning Low-Income Workers to Succeed in a Changing Economy. Retrieved from https://www.aecf.org/resources/taking-action/.