Farewell and Thank You

Dear Friend of DCA,

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With your support, Direct Care Alliance has been the national advocacy voice of direct care workers for almost ten years.  We can all be proud of what we have accomplished together.

Inspired by the vision of former Executive Director Leonila Vega, we built a nationwide advocacy network of direct care workers through the Voices Institute and other means. These worker leaders are eloquent about the value of their work and have a passion for improving our system of long-term services and supports.

We influenced legislation and regulation, taking important steps at the state and federal level to improve the health and economic security of direct care workers, invest in the workforce and enhance training and advancement opportunities. A key recent victory was the final home care rule extending basic labor protections–including federal minimum wage and overtime pay–to home care workers nationwide.

We developed a national credentialing program that is an important step toward building recognition of personal care work. We assisted many direct care workers in finding health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. We also provided technical and financial assistance to direct care worker state associations.

Unfortunately, the world has changed, and our income has decreased every year. The board has grappled with this over the years, trying to trim costs while maintaining services and supports for workers, but we don’t have enough funding to continue operating. We regretfully inform you that DCA staff operations will cease and our offices in Washington, DC and New York will close by June 30. 

After June 30, DCA will have a “virtual office” until October 28, while the board talks with other organizations about possible partnerships in hopes of finding a new home for our members and supporters. You can contact a DCA board member volunteer by emailing contact@directcarealliance.org or calling 920-385-9187. You can also contact us by leaving a comment here on our blog or on our Facebook page or by messaging us on Twitter.

We deeply regret that DCA can’t continue to operate as an independent organization, but we know that the advocacy movement we helped build will live on. Direct care workers will continue to make an impact.

Here are some groups that may be able to offer support or information as you keep up your advocacy work:

  •   Direct care worker associations give you a way to network with and learn from other direct care workers. Many also provide opportunities to improve your professional skills or participate in advocacy campaigns.
  •   PHI provides detailed information about the direct care workforce, does important policy work, and offers advocacy opportunities.
  •   Caring Across Generations is working to change the way we care for each other in America, in part by improving wages and working conditions for home care workers. Caring Across offers many advocacy opportunities.
  •   National Domestic Workers Alliance advocates for home care workers and other workers whose place of business is someone else’s home. NDWA often offers opportunities for workers to advocate on their own behalf.
  •   SEIU and AFSCME advocate for direct care workers and offer some opportunities for non-members to participate.
  •   The National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care advocates for nursing home and assisted living residents, home care recipients, and others who receive long-term care, services and supports. Consumer Voice often advocates for improving supports or working conditions for direct care workers, as in its current campaign to improve staffing ratios in nursing homes.
  •   National Employment Law Project provides legal and policy analysis and advice as well as help with advocacy efforts related to worker rights and good jobs.

We wish you all the best in your future efforts.

The staff and board of Direct Care Alliance