Personal Care Attendant (PCA)

Personal Care Attendants, individuals who assist an individual with personal needs of daily living, are the responsibility of the student. It is your responsibility to recruit, interview, hire, train, pay, etc. the PCAs you need. Remember, you are the employer, and serve as administrator, supervisor, personnel manager and bookkeeper of the arrangement.

Hiring a PCA

Begin the process of hiring PCAs well in advance of your anticipated needs. Know ahead of time what your needs are (i.e., specific responsibilities of attendants, time requirements, etc.). Be clear and specific when talking to potential PCAs so they will know your needs and your expectations.

Negotiate the details of the work arrangement. You may wish to write and sign a contract or merely come to a verbal agreement. Be sure to discuss and come to agreement on pay, duties, and schedule. You may wish to hire someone on a trial basis. Be sure to set the time length for this "trial."

Plan on employing one or two back-up PCAs to be on call when a substitute is needed. If you are a Vocational Rehabiliation client, check with your VR counselor to see if you are eligible for financial reimbursement of PCA costs.

Suggestions for Recruiting PCAs

  • The DRC periodically advertises for student employees and PCAs. Staff members from the DRC do not screen or interview these applicants, and are in no way liable for the conduct of these people.
  • You can place an ad in NIU or local newspapers.
  • Put posters/bulletin board announcements in your residence hall or other places on campus. You need to have notices stamped at the University Programming and Activities Office before placing on University bulletin boards.
  • Tell others that you are looking for assistance. They might want to assist, or know someone who would.

If you have questions or concerns about the process of employing PCAs, talk to your DRC coordinator.