Despite their value, direct care workers are severely limited by insufficient training, underappreciation, and few career advancement opportunities.
Direct Care Work Is Real Work: Elevating the Role of the Direct Care Worker examines the current training landscape for direct care workers. This irregular and under-resourced system fails to prepare workers to succeed and threatens quality of care for older adults and people with disabilities.
The report takes a closer look at the aspects of direct care work that are often unseen or underestimated, including its physical demands, social and emotional complexity, and growing contributions to consumers’ health management. It also proposes ways to maximize the role of the direct care worker in care delivery through upskilling, integration into care teams, and advanced roles, reviewing the evidence on such interventions to date.
Direct Care Work Is Real Work is the third installment in a year-long series of reports examining the importance and impact of the direct care workforce. The final, comprehensive report—Caring for the Future—will be released in January 2021. This report series was made possible through generous support from the W. K. Kellogg Foundation and the Woodcock Foundation.