Document Type

Research Report

Publication Date



Senior Home Care Services — Boston III, Inc. is a six year old private non-profit corporation with an annual budget of nearly $5 million. The agency currently delivers services to approximately 2,500 functionally impaired senior citizens per month in the Boston neighborhoods of South Boston, East Dorchester/Mattapan, East Boston, Beacon Hill, West End, North End, Charlestown, and South Cove. Over 5 7% of the case management staff has worked at the agency less than one year and 92.9% of the case management staff has worked at SHC for less than two years. The high turnover rate is well known to SHC administration and possible reasons for this turnover will be outlined later in this section of the report.

Other descriptions of the SHC case management staff include: nearly 93% female; 97% white, primarily having SHC their first professional employer since college. In fact, 60.7% of the staff are younger than 24 years old, and nearly 79% are under 29 years of age. Just under half of the 28 case managers we talked to selected case management as their first job choice, but 60.7% indicated that they wanted to make a career in the human services working with the lederly. The tough economic times in human services was the reason most often given for accepting a position at SHC by those less eager to work with elderly or in case management. Therefore, for an agency serving urban elderly we have for the most part young white females with limited employment experience. The implications of this cultural homogeneity is a subject for further research, but is an area for policy examination and attention by SHC.

To further test whether this staff description was applicable to other home care corporations and hence a matter for DEA review, we surveyed home care corporations throughout the Commonwealth. Every home care corporation in Massachusetts completed the survey. Results presented in Table 1 indicate a substantially wider spread in the ages of case managers than found at SHC. In fact, 52% of the 492 case managers identified in the study were under 30 years old. Only 28% were under 25 years old compared to 60.7% at SHC. (At the same time, only 10% of the state sample were over 55 years old.) Further descriptions of the case manager population statewide, however, do show some similarities to SHC. For example, 82% of the case managers in the agencies surveyed were female, and 93% were white (the others being 6% black, 0.6% Hispanic, 0.4% Cape Verdian) . Regarding job turnover, two agencies did not provide responses and two very small agencies reported very low turnover. Still, in averaging the job turnover rate for the twenty-five responding agencies the average tenure was 2.19 years — better, but not substantially different from SHC.



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