Posted by Direct Care Alliance on July 31st, 2012 at 10:38 am | Comments Off on Remind the Obama Administration of Its Commitment to Home Care Workers
Last December, when President Obama announced the proposed rule to extend minimum wage and overtime protections to home care workers, his words were thrillingly direct. “You can wake up at 5 in the morning, care for somebody every minute of the day, take the late bus home at night, and still make less than the minimum wage,” he said. “This means that many home care workers are forced to rely on things like food stamps just to make ends meet. That’s just wrong.”
But the rule has yet to be enacted.
That’s why DCA and our allies are gathering signatures on a petition to remind the Obama administration of its commitment to this issue. If you have not already signed our petition, please sign it NOW. If you have already signed it, send a friend or two a link to this story and invite them to join you.
As the president said in a December 15 White House press release: “The nearly 2 million in-home care workers across the country should not have to wait a moment longer for a fair wage. They work hard and play by the rules and they should see that work and responsibility rewarded.”
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.”
Posted by Direct Care Alliance on July 24th, 2012 at 7:34 am | Comments Off on How to Strengthen Social Security and Protect Direct Care Workers
“We can strengthen Social Security without cutting benefits for the working- and middle-class people who depend so much on it,” says Shawn Fremstad, director of the Inclusive and Sustainable Economy Initiative at the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR). Fremstad explains how that can be done in Caring for Caregivers in Retirement: Social Security Works for Direct Care Workers, a new issue brief from CEPR and the Direct Care Alliance (DCA).
The five-page issue brief explains why commonly discussed proposals to cut Social Security benefits —increasing the full retirement age above age 67 and reducing the annual cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) to Social Security benefits—are particularly troubling for direct care workers. It also recommends ways to improve Social Security for all workers, especially direct care workers and others in poorly compensated jobs, who face the greatest risks in retirement. Continue reading »
Fourteen students at a vocational technical high school in Fall River, Massachusetts, became the first high school students in the nation to earn the Direct Care Alliance’s Personal Care and Support Credential.
The DCA created the credentialing program to establish a national standard for the knowledge and skills required to provide high-quality in-home care. Before it was launched, there was no recognized credential that allowed employers and consumers to assess the knowledge of the home care workers that they hire.
The Personal Care and Support Credential is a competency-based test for direct care workers who provide care and support services in home and community-based settings. Continue reading »
Posted by Jessica Brill Ortiz on July 9th, 2012 at 8:25 am | Comments Off on Affordable Care Act Important Victory for Direct Care Workers
Through the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), which was upheld as constitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court on June 28, the United States is finally making healthcare accessible and affordable for millions of Americans and hundreds of thousands of direct care workers. “This indeed is a victory for health care workers everywhere,” says Genevieve Gipson, director of the National Network of Career Nursing Assistants.
Thanks to the ACA, insurance companies are now required to:
End the practice of charging women higher premiums;
Offer free preventive care (i.e. mammograms and wellness visits for seniors);
Cover individuals whether they get sick or have pre-existing conditions;
Allow children up to age 26 to be covered on their parents’ employer-provided insurance plans; and
Provide rebate checks to individuals whose insurance company spent too much of their premiums on CEO bonuses or administrative costs, instead of medical care.