After the Live-in Caregiver Program: Filipina Caregivers’ Experiences of Uneven and Graduated Citizenship

Tungohan, E., Banerjee, R., Chu, W., Cleto, P., de Leon, C., Garcia, M., Kelly, P., Luciano, M., Palmaria, C. and Sorio, C. (2015)
Canadian Ethnic Studies, Volume 47(1), 87-105 | doi:10.1353/ces.2015.0008.

This article assesses the economic precariousness faced by Filipina live-in caregivers during and after the Live-in Caregiver Program (LCP). Using survey data and focus group interviews, we argue that live-in caregivers’ unique pathway to immigration lead them to face economic challenges that are distinct from other immigrants. Not only do live-in caregivers face onerous employment conditions under the LCP, they have difficulties transitioning into the Canadian labour market because they face the following challenges: being stigmatized when entering the Canadian labour market, having to take costly educational upgrading courses while simultaneously working in ‘survival’ jobs, and having to be their families’ sole breadwinners. Despite these structural barriers, however, the live-in caregivers in our study strove to transition into Canadian society through their resilience and hard work. Regardless of the economic challenges that they themselves faced during and after the LCP, most saw their future in Canada and felt that coming to the country was “worth it.”