Home care is having a moment
The American Jobs Plan proposed by the Biden administration includes $400 billion in spending to improve wages and benefits for home care workers and increase access to home care services.
The President's proposal recognizes that without significant intervention, the direct care workforce will fall far short of demand. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, between 2018-2028 home care will add nearly 1.1 million jobs, which represents the largest growth of any job sector in the U.S. During the same time, an additional 6.9 million direct care jobs will need to be filled as existing workers leave the field or exit the labor force. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for a direct care worker is about $27,000. With 42 percent of the direct care workforce currently receiving public assistance, it is imperative to raise wages and expand benefits for workers in the caregiving profession. A recent article in the New York Times covers these issues in more depth.
In a handful of communities, home care workers have organized worker-owned cooperatives that are responsive to workers’ voice and create workplaces that considers caregivers’ experiences and needs, which drives retention and improves the quality of care. The annual benchmarking survey of home care cooperatives conducted by The ICA Group shows higher wages and better working conditions at worker-owned and controlled businesses, resulting in significantly lower caregiver turnover rates. However, in a market dominated by government Medicaid payments, the cooperative model cannot move the needle enough on wages and benefits to change the financial circumstances of caregivers. Sample letters that support increasing resources to improve home care wages and benefits that can be sent Congressional Representatives and media outlets are posted on the CDF website.
2021 Home Care Cooperative Conference videos available
Some of the video presentations at the 2021 Home Care Conference are now available on the conference resource page. In addition, PowerPoint decks and handouts are also posted online.
Save the date for the 2021 Home Care Cooperative Conference
The 6th Annual National Home Care Conference hosted by the National Rural Utilities Cooperative Finance Corporation will be held in Dulles, Virginia on February 23-25, 2022. More information about the conference, scholarships, and stipends will be available in November.
The conference is part of the work of the National Home Care Cooperative Initiative, a network of cooperatives and technical assistance providers interested in supporting and scaling home care cooperative development. CDF coordinates the work of the Initiative.