Home Care is Having a Moment
American Jobs Plan includes Help for Home Care Workers
The American Jobs Plan offers a rare opportunity to let policymakers and community stakeholders know how combining worker-ownership and higher wages can improve care and attract and retain workers to this vital profession. Sample letters to media outlets and legislators are available on the CDF website.
The American Jobs Plan proposed by the Biden administration includes $400 billion in spending to improve wages and benefits for homecare workers and increase access to home care services.
For nearly a decade, CDF and its partners in the National Homecare Cooperative Initiative have worked to develop worker-owned cooperatives in the homecare sector. By creating workplaces that are responsive to caregivers and respect their work experiences and needs, cooperatives have improved worker retention and improved the quality of care for seniors and people with disabilities. The annual benchmarking survey of homecare 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.
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 homecare 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. Forty-two percent of the direct care workforce currently receiving public assistance. A recent article in the New York Times covers these issues in more depth.
Adria Powell talks Home Care and Cooperatives on Aspen Institute Program
Cooperative Home Care Associates President and CEO Adria Powell was a forceful advocate for home care providers and worker ownership during her participation in the Aspen Institute online event, ”Valuing Care: Principles for a Post-Pandemic Care Economy.” Recognizing the vital importance of home care providers to clients, families and society, Powell said ,“My issue is that these jobs are not low wage work and they need to be compensated in a way that recognizes the essential services that home care workers are delivering.” A recording of the April 21 presentation is available on line.
2021 Home Care Cooperative Conference videos available
Videos from the 2021 Home Care Conference are now available on the conference resource page of the CDF website. 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.