Ongoing Projects

CasaCare: connecting home care workers with job opportunities

Project with Ivette Bayo, Veronica Guajardo, Meg Young, Yaxing Yao, Han Zhang

In summer 2013 Casa Latina expressed an interest in getting help from us figuring out a way to have Home Care trainees use online tools to get jobs after their training. In Fall 2013 we conducted some exploratory research on the needs of different stakeholders (trainees, Casa Latina, public libraries, employers) and the opportunities offered by existing online platforms to connect workers with jobs. We interviewed representatives from each of the four groups, and analyzed seven web sites according to five criteria. At the same time, we started a partnership between Casa Latina, Seattle Public Library, King County Library System, and iSchool, and prepared a grant application to IMLS.

Based on this preliminary work, we came with a recommendation to Casa Latina: rather than build a “stand alone” site for CasaCare, make it a “referral site” that holds info about the home care training program and the services offered by its trainees, with links to their profiles and offers of services. These offers of services can be posted in other external sites (such as Care.com or TaskRabbit.com). CasaCare site can also include info about workers’ rights and protection, fair employment practices, etc. 

CasaCare is a site that builds on and strengthens the reputation of Casa Latina as an organization that empowers Latino immigrants through economic and educational opportunities. CasaCare is endorsed by Casa Latina. It offers prospective home care employers information about Casa Latina, the Home Care training program, the rights and responsibilities of home care workers, and ways to contact Casa Latina-certified home care workers by linking to their profiles online. At the same time, CasaCare is a site that offers home care workers an online platform to create or link to their online profile, information about their rights and responsibilities, a perspective on the kinds of skills and behaviors needed to succeed as home care workers, and links to potential employers (agencies, web sites, private employers and families, etc) that they can contact or where they can place their profile.

Casa Latina, in partnership with iSchool, KCLS and SPL, can offer the necessary training and support for workers to be able to create, maintain and use their online profiles, and promote the additional activities and behaviors necessary for successful job searching and entrepreneurship by home care workers participating in the program.

As the CasaCare system grows, it can expand to include other workers in Casa Latina (not just home care), making the platform useful to other types of jobs: house cleaning, yardwork, painting, etc. Finally, the CasaCare system can also be adopted by other domestic worker organizations (part of NDWA) as a platform for referral for their own networks of workers and employers.

To get there, the partnership with iSchool, KCLS and SPL will also grow and expand to offer effective training and support to Hispanic immigrants to successfully use online tools for jobs and income generation.

 

Results:

Guajardo, V., Gomez, R., Yao, Y., and Bayo Urban, I. (2014). CasaCare.org: A sociotechnical platform for women immigrant workers in the home care industry. 11th Community Informatics Conference CIRN, Prato, Italy, Oct 2014. 

Picture of Ricardo