This article investigates the impact of policy measures on the organisation of home-based care for older people in France, by examining the balance between formal and informal care and the redefinition of the initial familialist model. It focuses on the specific cash for care scheme (the Allocation personnalisée d’autonomie – Personalised allowance for autonomy) which is at the core of the French home-based care policy. The author argues that in a redefined context of ‘welfare mix’, the French public strategy for supporting home-based care in France is articulated around two major objectives, which can appear contradictory. It aims to formalise a professional care sector, with respect to the employment policy while allowing the development of new forms of informal care, which cannot be considered to be formal employment. The data collection is two-fold. Firstly, a detailed analysis was made of different policy documents and public reports, together with a systematic review of existing studies. Secondly, statistical analysis on home-based care resources were collected, which was not easy, as home-care services for older people in France are part of a larger sector of activity, ‘personal services’ (services à la personne). The article exposes three main findings. First, it highlights the complexity of the formalisation process related to the introduction of the French care allowance and demonstrates that formalisation, which facilitates the recognition of care as work, does not necessarily mean professionalisation. Second, it outlines the diversity of the resources available: heterogeneous professional care, semi-formal forms of care work with the possibility to employ a relative and informal family care. Finally, the analysis outlines the importance of the regulation of cash payments on the reshaping of formal and informal care and comments on its impact on the redefinition of informal caring activities.