HomeWatch Caregivers Diversity Fran Dev Efforts around Diversity


In 2020, Homewatch CareGivers, LLC saw the need for greater awareness around diversity, inclusion, and equity in home care and was inspired by the efforts at Authority Brands. They built a group of franchise owners and support center staff to create ALLIES, which stands for:







ALLIES has a mission to "advance diversity and inclusion" within the brand. In addition, they are peers who hope to learn alongside each other and develop acceptance of everyone's differences, ideas, and beliefs. In 2021, Homewatch CareGivers added a Diversity Discount of $5,000 for minorities and women that own 51% of the business or more, which led to an increase in the diversity of candidates to own a franchise.

“I love that our network is more diverse than ever,” said Jamie Lavigne, CFE, Franchise Development Manager. “I am proud to be a part of this strength in diversity.”

This has meant that women such as Claudette Forbes, a native of Jamaica, who is co-owner of the Woodbridge, New Jersey location, has joined the network of successful owners in recent years, Lavigne shared. In addition, brothers Muhammad Ahmed Riaz and Mohsin Riaz, originally from Pakistan, purchased a location in West San Jose, California in 2021. Among women of color who joined the Homewatch CareGivers network in 2021 were Jessie Nair of Lewisville, Texas, Sharan Sihota of Cypress, Texas, Anita Houde and Aparna Kanitkar of Johns Creek, Georgia.

“Caregiving is traditionally done by women and the leadership team at Homewatch CareGivers, LLC is all women so we’re already a group that was long considered a minority,” said COO Jennifer Tucker. “However, in 2020 we became acutely aware that being more proactive when it comes to racial, ethnic, religious, sexual orientation and other disparities would better support our network and those in the communities we serve.”

The home care industry is one that relies on minorities and women as caregivers to deliver the much-needed services of assistance with daily activities in the home.

“We believe that home care can and should be delivered by people of all backgrounds,” said Tucker. “This in turn means people receiving care have the opportunity to interact with someone without bias as to race, gender, or sexual orientation.”


What this looked like in 2021 included:

  1. Members of the ALLIES group had the opportunity to talk about their purpose and work in a Facebook Live event with The Eden Alternative, a non-profit dedicated to improving the lives of elders and their care partners. View and listen to this discussion that included Breanne Stuart (franchise owner of the Ann Arbor/Huron Valley locations), Deb Nelson (owner of the Edina, MN location), and Hillary Wootton (former co-owner of the Santa Rosa, CA location and current Business Operations Manager at the Franchise Support Center), and was moderated by Laura Beck of The Eden Alternative. 
  2. Jim Nacchia, Jr., who is Director of Operations at the Wilmington, DE location and a member of the ALLIES group, spoke with University of Delaware about diversity and hiring for an article on school's website. 
  3. Breanne Stuart (again, owner of the Ann Arbor and Huron Valley, MI offices), who is also Black, made changes in her own business. She created an “advocacy calendar” with a monthly task such as writing a legislator, attend a LGBTQ event, sign up for a specific association like a Latino group to broaden her own knowledge. “Personally, I have a very diverse team of extremely diverse individuals from all over the country,” Stuart said. “There are many more backgrounds, cultures that I want to add to my team, including refugees, people with disabilities, people re-entering the workforce. I don’t think I’ll ever be done with trying to diversify my team.” 
  4. We are currently cultivating the best trainings within Homewatch CareGivers University so that all caregivers, franchise owners, and family caregivers can become better educated on issues around unconscious bias, diversity and discrimination, to name a few. We have also added a variety of books, podcasts, and articles that focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion to our company intranet for viewing.
  5. Currently in development are plans to use the ALLIES logo and language on local websites of owners who commit to educating their teams on DE&I. This will serve as a signal to everyone from a potential future franchisee to family members of clients to caregivers that Homewatch CareGivers takes DE & I seriously and believes in everyone having a voice.

The discussion about diversity and inclusion in the home care industry is just getting started.