By 2020, the United States will need between 4 and 5 million direct care workers to serve the rapidly increasing numbers of older adults and other Americans who live with disabilities or other chronic conditions and require hands-on assistance with bathing, dressing and a host of other daily tasks. Addressing the critical need for carefully selected and well-prepared workers who can provide high quality, compassionate care to individuals in need of supportive services, the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation announced the launch of the Homecare Aide Workforce Initiative (HAWI) in January 2013.
A large, multi-year, foundation-funded initiative,i HAWI was designed to improve care for the growing number of older adults who receive home health services by improving the skills, job satisfaction, and retention of the home health aide (HHA) workforce. The HAWI initiative consisted of two main programs: 1) an innovative HHA entry-level workforce program to enable aides to earn required credentials and enter quality jobs; and 2) a Specialty Aide program to build HHAs' advanced skills in areas including cultural diversity, dementia, falls prevention, palliative care and end of life.
The subject of this report is HAWI's HHA entry-level workforce program, designed and directed by the Paraprofessional Health Care Institute (PHI) and implemented by three New York State (NYS) licensed home care agencies affiliated with the UJA Federation of New York: 1) Home Assistance Personnel, Inc. (HAPI); 2) Best Choice Home Health Care, and 3) Selfhelp Home Care Services (Selfhelp). Specifically, we report the results of a program evaluation conducted by a research team at the VNSNY Center for Home Care Policy and Research in New York City (NYC) and independently funded by the Weinberg Foundation. The period of the evaluation covers a total of 32 entry-level training courses that ran from January 2013 through June 2014.