Home Care Cooperatives are a place where both clients and caregivers thrive. The Northwest Cooperative Development Center assists caregivers in developing home care cooperatives in Washington, and soon, throughout the Northwest!
Washington State is home to five home care cooperatives, the oldest being Circle of Life Caregivers Cooperative, which launched in July 2007.
All the home care cooperatives were started in their communities by groups of local caregivers who banded together to build jobs for themselves that allowed them to continue in their field with dignity and meaningful wages. In a caregiver-owned home care cooperative, the caregivers have a say in their wages and earn a share of the profits of the business, and have input in all business-related decisions. In these co-ops, the board of directors is made up of and elected by the caregiver-owners.
There are a plethora of benefits to be found in the worker-owned cooperative model, both for the clients and the caregiver-owners! While the industry standard for caregiver turnover hovers around 67%, the Home Care Cooperative industry has cut that turnover rate down to 29%, more than half, showing that caregivers choose to stay in their co-ops. To add to that, home care co-ops in the Pacific Northwest tend to pay about
$2/hr more on average than their industry counterparts. The bottom line is that Home Care Co-ops support both caregivers as well as the people they serve!
A principle among all cooperatives is “Co-ops support co-ops”. An integral part of the success of the WA Home Care Co-ops is that they support each other and ensure one anothers success.
The Northwest Cooperative Development Center has provided assistance to all of these caregiver cooperatives in an effort to help them realize their goals as business owners, and continues this robust effort to create more equitable work and workplaces for caregivers throughout the Pacific Northwest. Helmed by NWCDC Cooperative Development Specialist and Home Care Cooperative Developer Deborah Craig, the NWCDC continues in its efforts to see equitable jobs created for caregivers throughout the northwest.
Are you interested in opening a home care cooperative? Contact us today- fill out the form below!
Are you interested in learning more about the home care cooperative movement? Are you interested in starting your own home care co-op? Send us a quick message to learn more:
Meet the Washington Home Care Cooperatives!
“It seems quite natural that our office team would be composed of a multi-generational team of women. Women throughout time have nurtured these cooperative values and our COL, home care cooperative is a perfect place to grow a wild and wonderful workplace.”
We celebrate our democratic workplace and strive to create win/win solutions for caregivers, our office team, and our clients. Board President, Julia Nelson, shares that sentiment:” We are all in this together, and I have never worked anywhere else that takes cooperation and community to heart in such a way that Circle of Life does.”
– Kris Buettner, Administrator- Circle of Life Caregiver Cooperative
“Worker owned businesses level the playing field for women. In a democratic workplace, societal norms of male dominance are not welcome. Women are natural leaders – intuitive, inclusive, and fair. These traits are encouraged in cooperative business settings.”
-Kippi Waters, Administrator- Peninsula Homecare Cooperative
“Our current Board is made up of women and non-binary people, and we often encourage each other to talk about how we’re doing as people. We make time to share in each meeting what we’re struggling with, what we’re excited about, and what we’ve found to be rewarding. Oftentimes, we share struggles and experiences believing we’re the only ones with them, only to find relief in knowing our fellow board members can easily relate. We end up bouncing ideas off of each other without fear of harsh criticism or overlook, are honest in our discussions about what works and what doesn’t, and find an option that meets our needs. Without that camaraderie between us, we would not be able to grow as a business or as people at the rate we are now. As a young woman, I feel incredibly lucky to have started my career in this co-op.”
-Clarissa Magdich, Board Member and Caregiver-Owner- Capital Homecare Cooperative