Maine Developmental Disabilities Council

Before you start

Do an Interest Inventory

         Determine what you want in a worker

        Determine what is important to you

        ToolkitforPeoplewithDisabilites.pdf from the CDC

Determine a schedule

       Can be a general idea of when you would like people to come

       How many days; for how many hours

Create a job description

      Need to be able to tell the applicant what they will be doing

     Will help you decide the schedule and have a better idea of what you will need

Creating an ad

Be as concise as possible

     No one is going to read 5 paragraphs

 Accentuate the positive

     Talk about the fun activities you go on

     Flexible schedule

     Working one on one

But don’t leave out the negative

     Better to know upfront

     Know the applicant can do it/handle it

Make clear the qualifications up front

     Car, license and insurance?


Make the expectations clear up front


     Experience with challenging behaviors

Pictures are worth a thousand words

     I include a picture, so they know I am real

     People are much more likely to look at something with a picture

Consider a video ad

     Really see your personality

     People love short videos

I include the pay, because I want that known upfront

Posting an ad

Sample Ad

GET FULL-TIME HOURS IN JUST 2 DAYS!GET FULL-TIME HOURS IN JUST 2 DAYS!Get paid to go shopping, go to the movies, go out to dinner, etc! I am a 44-year-old woman living with Muscular Dystrophy. I love to be active and do fun things! I need caregivers to help me do that! I currently need someone to work weekly on Monday at 9a until 11p on Tuesday. Besides having fun, you would also need to help me with bathing, dressing, toileting, transferring, cleaning, cooking, driving, etc. You must be reliable, able to lift and drive. I do not live on a bus line and my work requires that you drive me from place to place in my wheelchair-accessible van. I use an agency, so you must pass a background check. Due to my health conditions, I am only hiring people who have the vaccine/are willing to get the vaccine.I can teach you everything else.Pay $12-16.50/hr.Get valuable experience and have fun! I look forward to hearing from you!



Places you may want to post an ad to:






Where to find Workers


Talk to friends and family
Ask friends, family and current workers to spread the word
Ask people in the community
     The nice waitress at the restaurant or the bus driver that went above and beyond
     I carry business cards to hand out to people I like
Ask local businesses about hanging up signs
     Bookstores, gyms, coffee shops, etc.
     Find people with similar interests
Every person you meet, is a link to a potential worker
     It’s not selfish it’s survival

Screening applicants

When reviewing applications/resumes, look at the employment history

     Look for gaps

     Look for short stays at jobs

Have a Survey Monkey link that I send to applicants

     Asks all the requirements-Driver’s License, able to lift, able to stay overnight, vaccinated, etc

     Asks questions to get to know the applicant better-what they liked about their last job, disliked, what qualities to you find most effective in a supervisor/least effective

Do a video or phone screen before setting up an in-person interview

     Helps weed people out

     Less time consuming if the person doesn’t work out

     Safer, if you don’t like the person

     A lot easier to end a video or phone call if you don’t like the person

Interview questions

General questions help you decide if the worker is right for the job

     What do you like to do for fun?

     What types of movies do you like?

     You will know if you have similar interests and will get along

Questions specific to the participant’s wants and needs will help decide if the worker will be a good fit

      Are you a morning person or a night owl?

     Are you an introvert or extrovert?

     Do the workers traits match well with you and the job needs?

Questions regarding a specific situation help you know how the person will react

     What would you do if your car broke down and you had to be to work for me?

     Is the worker going to just not show up or will they find a different ride?

Sample situations questions let you know how the worker will react to situations

     What would you do if we were out at a restaurant and the waiter asked you what I want to eat?

     Will the worker answer for you or look to you to answer?

 Getting creative with interview questions
Questions NOT to ask  Questions to ask instead 
 You have a lot of children, are you even going to show up for work?  The schedule is from 9a-5p M-F. Will that schedule work for you?
 You are old. Can you even do this job?  This job requires bending, lifting up to 100 pounds and can involve physically restraining someone. Will you be able to complete these tasks?
 You have a lot of tattoos? Do you have a criminal record?  My FMS requires a caregiver background check be completed. (Just wait for the response. There will always be one)

Tips for interviewing

Do the first in-person interview at a local coffee shop or park

     For safety reasons, it is not always good for people to know where you live

     Might not be able to get the person out of your home

Have someone else around for the interview

    Helpful for safety reasons

     Helpful to get a second opinion of the applicant

Have a copy of the job description with you

     Review the job description with the applicant-the good and the bad

Have a copy of the schedule with you

Have interview questions prepared, but don’t be afraid to go “off script”

     Learn the most from people just by talking

Pay attention to body language and reactions; Always says more than words

Selecting an applicant

Remember your Interest Inventory and what traits are important to you so you can make sure the applicant possess them

     If punctuality is important, but the worker shows up 10 minutes late with no reason, that worker wouldn’t be the best choice

Make the job requirements and expectations known up front and communicate them to the applicant to ensure the applicant meets the requirements

     If driving is a requirement, but the applicant doesn’t have a drivers license, they will not be a good match

     Good or bad, make sure the applicant knows what to expect

Set a schedule up front and make sure the applicant is available at those times

     If the schedule is flexible, still make parameters, so there is not conflict or confusion down the line

If the person asks about pay right away, they are most likely not in it for the right reason and will not last

     We all need money to survive, but no one is getting rich from being a caregiver

     The person has to have compassion and actually care about people to be a good match for self-directed care

Trust your instincts, they are probably not wrong

Most of all, pick the person that is the best match to you

     Skills can be taught

     Personality and chemistry cannot

     You are not just filling a hole, this is a person you will spend a lot of time with, so you will want to like them


Make sure you know what you are looking for in a worker, before hiring

An eye-catching ad will assist with hiring

There are many places to post the ad, but the best way to find workers is just by networking and living life

Make qualifications and expectations known up frontMake the “good and the bad” of job duties known up front

Have a variety of interview questions prepared to learn about an applicant, but don’t be afraid to go off script

Select the applicant that you like the best, that is the beauty of self-direction

Click here to download a PDF file




Community Connect

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Maine Developmental Disabilities Council
526 Western Avenue  Unit 2
Augusta, ME 04330



139 State House Station Augusta, ME 04333


Phone: 207-480-1478 or toll free 833-713-2618