Caregiving passion inspired single mum's business

A passion for children's wellbeing drove a single mother to open a business providing families with in-home, on-call child and elderly care services.

Hetta Fuimaono, a single mother to two boys' recently founded Defense and Abode Care, a new in-home care provider.

Despite being launched in late 2020 amid the pandemic-led economic recession, Ms. Fuimaono, 38, told the Samoa Observer she says she has 12 caregivers on-call.

She began offering childcare services after identifying a need for reliable caregivers for working parents.

“I have not worked as a caregiver before but I have a passion for kids…," she said.

"I am a single mother; I am raising two kids, two boys and lots of my friends face [this problem of having unreliable babysitters] not so much myself but my friends.

"I [thought]: 'Wow that’s another space where I can fill the gap and offer something – instead of us relying on one single person at one time…'

"We just want to be a reliable service provider especially for those who struggle with their babysitters who don’t show up and for parents who have trust issues.”

Building trust with their clients is her business' ultimate priority, she said.

The business' services are available for families around-the-clock.

“That’s our priority: is to build trust with our clients…our caregivers don’t just sit around and look after the kids. We have working plans for them on what to do based on what we discuss with our clients,” she said.

“We drop off our caregivers and pick them up after their run. We have flexibility. 

"It's like a doorway for trust-building with our clients. Working parents have obligations with their employers and it’s not like they can just call in to say I am not coming to work. They have obligations to the other party.”

Abode began with offering security guard services but expanded to offer more “care services” for children and the elderly and even lawns.

It is based in Vaitele Fou where Ms. Fuimaono lives with her sons Nicholas, 8, and 10 month-old Nichet.

“People were losing their jobs then so I extended the services to those areas where we could offer job opportunities to more people in 2020,” said Ms. Fuimaono.

“I looked at where no one offered the service here in Samoa and felt it was a great opportunity to fill those gaps.

“Some parents would like to go to [an] occasion where kids are not allowed.

"Or they just want someone to come and look after the kids over 

“It’s for those times where we have people a service on the side for those people. 

:Our people are not babysitters, they are carers. We try to avoid using the word ‘babysitters’…you know our people are unique because of our loving hearts."

She said more caregivers were in line for training in the near future.

For more information about Defense and Abode Care Services, contact Hetta Fuimaono at +685 764-4718 or via e-mail at [email protected]

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