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New York, U.S.A. — The Direct Care Alliance’s (DCA) Personal Care and Support Credential will be offered free of charge to 400 home care workers nationwide. This innovative program helps consumers, family caregivers, and home care agencies identify skilled home care workers. DCA will award scholarships through participating organizations throughout the country to home care workers who meet employment, training and other eligibility requirements.
As the fastest growing workforce in the United States, home care has emerged as a key sector of our economy. Recruiting and retaining qualified home care workers has proven to be very challenging for the industry, a problem that is exacerbated by the growing demand for home care.
“The rapidly increasing demand for in-home services makes it that much more urgent that we institute a national standard to measure the knowledge and skills required to provide quality home care,” says DCA Director of Policy and Planning David Ward. “We are thrilled to be able to respond to this need by enabling hundreds of home care workers to take the Personal Care and Support Credential exam free of charge.”
The Personal Care and Support Credential tests for critical job skills such as decision-making, problem solving, and communication in addition to content knowledge. All direct care workers need those so-called “soft” skills, but they are of particular importance to home care workers, who do the lion’s share of their work in their clients’ homes.
Most exams currently available to home care workers are designed and administered by companies that provide the training needed to pass the exam, but DCA does not provide vocational training. DCA’s Personal Care and Support Credential is designed to measure the skills and knowledge needed to provide high-quality care, providing consumers and their families with a reliable means of identifying qualified direct care workers and direct care workers with a portable demonstration of their specialized knowledge and skills.
Both the credentialing program and the scholarship initiative are made possible by the generous support of the Ford Foundation.
The Direct Care Alliance is the national advocacy voice of direct care workers in long-term care. They empower workers to speak out for better wages, benefits and training, so more people can commit to direct care as a career. They also convene powerful allies nationwide to build consensus for change.