Vancouver, BC – October 4, 2010 – The Association of Caregiver and Nanny Agencies, Canada (ACNA) has launched a Canada wide toll free CAREline to assist caregivers and employers who utilize Canada’s Live-in Caregiver Program (LCP), through which Canadian families recruit live-in nannies and caregivers from overseas.
Canada Immigration and Citizenship (CIC) has also recently implemented a telephone line for live-in caregivers, available from 8am – 4pm Monday through Friday.
The CAREline will be available for emergencies after hours until the Government’s federal dedicated live-in caregiver line, announced in December 2009 as a 24 hour a day available line, becomes operational. The CIC’s telephone line is geared toward informing caregivers of the general requirements of the Live-in caregiver Program and reporting abuse, intimidation or threats in their employment.
CAREline will focus on more practical and educational objectives by making available educational leaflets with topics such as Do’s & Don’ts of a Professional Nanny and Common Complaints from Employers.
Three handbooks; Handbook for Caregivers, Handbook for Employers and Success after the LCP, will be available in early 2011.
CARELINE will also have a list of emergency accommodations in all major Canadian cities available.
ACNA launched the CAREline in response to issues stemming from governmental changes to the Live-in Caregivers Program, implemented by Jason Kenney, Minister of Immigration, Citizenship and Multiculturalism on April 1, 2010. Canadian Families must now cover all expenses, including the caregiver’s airfare, recruitment fees, medical and workers’ compensation.
Given the unmitigated risk, there is a demand for CAREline to be open to both caregivers and employers who may find themselves placed in an unfair situation.
The caregiver placement industry is well aware that Canadian employers have in the past been, and continue to be, taken advantage of by less than genuine caregivers, essentially using families-in-need as a stepping stone to get to Canada and ending the employment shortly afterwards. This scenario has now developed much more of an exploitative edge given the fact that with the new changes, Canadian families have to not only pay all associated costs, which can run between $3000- $5000 per placement when using a placement agency, but also wait several months for a caregiver who may not stay with them. Families who hire privately without the help of an agency are still obligated to pay for airfare and medical insurance amongst other benefits, and receive none of the value added settlement services provided by the agencies.
It it anticipated that with the unmitigated risk of paying large upfront fees and no protection for Canadian families, there is a growing need for a place where they can call to voice their concerns.
ACNA encourages that the Canadian Government set up an employer extension on their CIC line to include the same protection to Canadian families facing unfair treatment from caregivers as it affords foreign caregivers.
ACNA will be sending regular reports to Citizenship and Immigration Canada and Minister Kenney’s office voluntarily, advising him of the predominant issues addressed through the CAREline.
ACNA Canada is an industry association of employment agencies who provide nannies and caregivers to Canadian employers through Canada’s Foreign Live-In Caregiver Program.