Methods: The present study followed a grounded theory research design framework (Chun Tie et al., 2019). Participants were recruited online. Inclusion criteria include 1) identifies as Filipina, 2) identifies as a womxn, 3) care worker, 4) 18 years old and older, 5) an immigrant, and 6) resides in New England. Fourteen participants were interviewed in person or over the phone in both Tagalog and English. Semi-structured interviews were translated to English and transcribed. Two trained researchers coded the transcripts separately. Using thematic analysis, coders performed open coding, created categories, and analyzed the relationship of categories until themes and theories were developed.
Results: Participants discussed that the differing demands of their job facilitated abuse and exploitation. Their employers demanded tasks beyond their agreed job responsibilities. Those who were live-in care workers had to provide 24/7 care to their employers which blurred the lines between work and personal space. Participants also discussed the stress of supporting transnational families and sending remittances for financial support and guilt from not being with their children physically. Despite these stressors, certain job resources also existed. Some participants learned to negotiate their job contracts to protect their rights such as their right to a day off and overtime pay. Furthermore, participants also organized with fellow care workers to advocate for themselves and provide mutual aid to one another.
Conclusions and Implications: While Filipina care workers experienced both job and family stressors, they also advocated for themselves and others and provided resources to address the paucity of support provided for them. The shift of care from formal sectors to private homes with an aging population suggest that there will be a continuous demand for care workers in the informal sector. Social work needs to provide support for care workers in the informal sector through mental health services, job contract negotiation, know your rights workshops, legal aid, and advocating for policies such as the passing of the federal version of the Domestic Worker’s Bill of Rights.