Steps Home Care expands into Fairfield County market
Published 3:05 pm, Monday, June 19, 2017
Family-owned Steps Home Care plans to broaden its Connecticut clientele with new Greenwich-based operations.
The company — founded in 2011 by Jennifer Baukol, Lisa Wade and Shan Wade — is one of the family’s several businesses that also includes Steps Therapy and All Steps Home Care. Aligning with national trends from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics that indicate the home health care services industry will be among the fastest growing through at least 2022, the family’s business services have been expanding geographically as demand rises.
All Steps Home Care covers Florida clients and often coordinates with White Plains, N.Y.-based Steps Home Care that has customers across Fairfield and Westchester counties, Long Island and Manhattan. Regardless of the company’s size, co-owner Shan Wade said he prioritizes maintaining its family-centered mission. “Jen or I go out on every client assessment,” he said. “We give our card to every single client. We want them to know that they’re part of our family.”
The family factor helps differentiate their business from others, he said. Like other home care agencies founded by families, Wade said, part of what pushed him to enter the industry was his own experience with poor home care services for his mother. “I saw the wrong way to do it, so we take everything personally with our business,” he said.
For a stint, Steps had an office in Norwalk, but its Connecticut work has mostly been managed from its New York headquarters until it recently decided to open a more local outpost that has temporary offices in Greenwich Office Park. The company wanted “someone grounded in Greenwich” to lead the expansion, Wade said, so longtime Greenwich resident Betsy Keller joined the Steps team last winter to direct its launch across the county. “If we expanded to this area, we wanted it to be run by a friend or family who we knew we could trust,” Wade said.
Since joining the team, “community engagement is really important,” said Betsy Keller, who’s been named Steps director of community outreach and has been interviewing scores of potential home care companions to work with Connecticut clients.
Prices for Steps Home Care services are typically a bit steeper than many competitors, Wade said, adding Steps also pays its employees more and attempts to match clients specifically with home care companions who share common interests that help them engage and interact with clients.
While ramping up Steps’ Connecticut operations, Keller has also coordinated several community partnerships that included a Grandma’s Recipe Contest that gave awards for healthy family recipes at the Garden Education Center’s May Gardener’s Market.
In the last few weeks, Keller said she’s also been working on launching a company initiative to train and employ people who have experienced domestic violence. The program is a corporate social responsibility initiative that helps “domestic violence survivors seeking employment by offering free training in home care companion services and/or subsidizing Certified Nursing Assistant Certification at a local vocational school and offering employment at Steps Home Care,” she said.
“Domestic violence victims are usually nurturing, protective caregivers,” Keller said. “It makes great sense they would be awesome in home health care taking care of others.”
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