Homemaker Companion Agency Registration
Homemaker-companion agencies must be registered with the Department of Consumer Protection before engaging in business in Connecticut.
In order for the Department to consider an application for a homemaker companion agency, a fully executed application, including registration fee must be received by the Department.
All registrations expire annually on October 31st. The annual registration fee is $375.00.
Agencies Subject to Registration
A homemaker-companion agency is defined as:
"...any public or private organization, employing one or more persons that is engaged in the business of providing companion services or homemaker services. Homemaker-companion agency shall not include a home health care agency, as defined in subsection (d) of section 19a-490 of the general statutes, or a homemaker-home health aide agency, as defined in subsection (e) of section 19a-490 of the general statutes."
The term “Employee” means
“any person employed by, or who enters into a contract to perform services for, a homemaker –companion agency, including, but not limited to, temporary employees, pool employees and independent contractors (emphasis added).”
The term "Companion services" means:
"...nonmedical, basic supervision services to ensure the well-being and safety of a person in such person's home."
The Commissioner of Consumer Protection may revoke, suspend or refuse to issue or renew any certificate of registration as a homemaker-companion agency or place an agency on probation or issue a letter of reprimand for:
(A) Conduct by the agency, of a character likely to mislead, deceive or defraud the public or the Commissioner; or (B) engaging in any untruthful or misleading advertising.
Each registered agency must: (1) Exhibit the agency's certificate of registration upon request by any interested party, (2) state in any advertisement the fact that the agency is registered, and (3) include the agency's registration number in any advertisement.
Note that those agencies that are licensed by DPH should take caution as to the services they provide. Federal regulations and the Public Health code may require that homemaker companion services be provided by a separate entity. As such any home health care agency or homemaker-home health aide agency performing homemaker companion services should form a separate entity and become registered as homemaker companion agency.
Surety Bond Requirement
Pursuant to Public Act 17-77 Conn. Gen. Stat. § 20-672 (a)(3) has been amended and now requires an HCA to certify to DCP that “such agency maintains a surety bond of not less than ten thousand dollars coverage, which coverage shall include theft by an employee of such agency from a person for whom homemaker or companion services are provided by the agency, …”
Please note that this is a minimum requirement and is specifically for the registration. You may be required to maintain other insurances or bonds for other requirements. In addition you should consult with your insurer to discuss your insurance needs.
Employee Hiring Policies
Before hiring its staff, the agency must conduct a comprehensive background check of all its employees, and must require the employee to complete and sign a form which contains questions as to whether the current or prospective employee was convicted of a crime involving violence or dishonesty in a state court or federal court in any state; or was subject to any decision imposing disciplinary action by a licensing agency in any state, the District of Columbia, a United States possession or territory or a foreign jurisdiction.
The form signed by the employee and comprehensive background check shall be maintained for each agency employee for inspection by the Department of Consumer Protection. The certification by each employee shall read:
"I certify that the statements made by me on this application are true and complete to the best of my knowledge and are made in good faith. I understand that if I knowingly make any misstatements of fact, I am subject to disqualification, dismissal, or other action pursuant to employment agency policy and procedure, and subject to criminal penalties as prescribed by law."
(Regulation Section 20-670-2(a))
Homemaker companion agencies may wish to review the standards and guidelines set forth in Connecticut General Statutes Section 46a-80 to determine the suitability of applicants for employment.
Client Service Agreements
(a) A written contract or service plan shall be provided by the agency to the client, and a copy shall be kept by the Homemaker-Companion Agency. The agency shall not enforce the written contract or service plan unless it is signed by both the agency and client.
(b) Written contracts or service plans shall:
1. provide a list of the anticipated services to be provided by the agency to the client, the term and cost of said services, a clear definition of the employee, provider and client employment relationship, safeguards for securing personal client information, a list of provider job categories such as “live-in” or “daily call,” and job duties;
2. contain the homemaker-companion agency policy for the acceptance of gratuities and gifts by the homemaker-companion agency’s employees and independent contractors on behalf of the client; and
3. contain a process for the client to file a complaint with the homemaker-companion agency. A process shall be made available for individuals other than a client to file a complaint
(Regulation Section 20-670-3)
Client Contact, Supervision, and Records
(a) The homemaker-companion agency shall provide the client with a contact phone number and address for the agency and an authorized representative to discuss the service being provided.
(b) Narrative notes of a substantive nature shall be kept with each client’s file and shall include observations, problems, complaints, plans of action, telephone contacts, reports of in home visits by supervisors, and the findings of all investigations.
(Regulation Section 20-670-4)
Written Notice Requirement for Registries
***Note: Change of law effective October 1, 2017
A homemaker-companion agency that acts as a registry must provide certain notice to consumers within four days unless there is an emergency and a waiver is signed.
View/download copy of the DCP approved EMERGENCY WAIVER OF HOMEMAKER COMPANION LEGAL NOTICE
Public Act No. 17-53
AN ACT CONCERNING NOTICE REQUIREMENTS FOR HOME HEALTH CARE REGISTRIES.
(a) [Not later than four calendar days after the date on which a] A registry that supplies, refers or places an individual with a consumer [, the registry] shall provide the consumer with a written notice, to be signed by the consumer, specifying the legal liabilities of such registry to the individual supplied or referred to or placed with the consumer. Such notice shall be given to the consumer before the commencement of services and such services shall not commence until the registry receives a signed copy of the notice from the consumer, unless a bona fide emergency exists and such registry details the specific nature of the emergency on a form approved by the department and signed by the consumer or an authorized representative of the consumer. If a bona fide emergency exists, the registry shall provide such notice not later than four calendar days after the date on which it supplies, refers or places an individual with a consumer. If the registry maintains an Internet web site, a sample of the notice shall be posted on such Internet web site.