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By Courage Homecare on May 15, 2024

Exploring the World of Home Care Cooperatives

You may have noticed terms like “cooperative”, “caregiver-owned”, or “worker-owned” home care on our website. But what do these terms mean? In this blog, we'll break down the basics and explain why it's important.

Understanding Home Care Cooperatives: What Are They?

Let's start with a simple definition: A home care cooperative is a business owned and operated by owned and operated by a collective group of worker-owners rather than a single owner, multiple partners, or external shareholders. In the realm of home care, this means that caregivers, office staff, and senior management all have the opportunity for ownership in the business.

In a home care cooperative, worker-owners, including caregivers and office staff, become worker-owners by purchasing a membership share. This share represents their equity investment in the business. In a home care cooperative, shares typically cost just a few hundred dollars, making ownership accessible to all. 

Unlike traditional for-profit companies, ownership of a home care cooperative is distributed equally among all worker-owners who choose to invest in the agency. Each worker-owner holds one membership share, ensuring that no one individual has more power or ownership stake than another.

As a member, each worker-owner has the right to access financial information about the agency's performance and participate in significant business decisions, such as voting for the board or workplace policy changes. Worker-owners also receive a share of company profits based on hours worked.

Worker-owners have the opportunity to elect and serve on the Board of Directors, which is primarily composed of worker-owners. The Board oversees the agency's financial success, evaluates leadership, approves budgets, and determines profit distributions to worker-owners.

 

While a worker-owned home care cooperative may appear similar to any other business from the outside, its unique ownership structure and values set it apart.

 

The Benefits of Choosing a Home Care Cooperative

Although the day-to-day operations of a home care cooperative resemble those of a traditional agency, the experience for clients and caregivers is distinct.

When purchasing services, almost everyone would choose a business owner, when that is an option. That is because owners are deeply committed to their business's success and this directly impacts their clients' well-being. This principle holds for home care cooperatives, where caregiver-owners are dedicated to delivering top-notch care that reflects the quality of their company.

“Our success stems from the dedication and commitment our owner-members bring to their work every day.” “Over 50% of our staff have been with Courage Homecare for over a decade. This is their company, and they take their ownership commitment seriously.”

For caregivers, the cooperative difference is substantial. Whether as owners or not, caregiver needs, such as training, mentorship, and support, are prioritized because cooperative owners are also caregivers and frontline staff. Their voices are heard in decision-making processes, ensuring a balance between caregiver needs and business sustainability.

 

Exploring the Rise of Home Care Cooperatives

The cooperative model is relatively new, with the first home care cooperative established in 1985. Our cooperative, Courage Homecare was launched in 2015. Today, there are over 20 home care cooperatives operating across 10 states and Puerto Rico, with many more in development. Interest in this model continues to grow, with cooperatives collaborating to share best practices and amplify their impact.

We invite you to learn more about our home care cooperative, Courage Homecare, and discover how the cooperative model can support your goals, whether you seek high-quality home care services or meaningful employment that makes a difference in people's lives. Contact us today! 

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The Cooperative Difference = High-quality, dependable care provided by dedicated caregivers.

Published by Courage Homecare May 15, 2024
Courage Homecare