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Personal & Home Care Aide State Training Program

Research & Policy Analysis

In 2010, the Affordable Care Act authorized the Personal and Home Care Aide State Training (PHCAST) Program, which supported states’ demonstration programs in developing, implementing, and evaluating competency-based curricula and certification programs to train personal and home care aides. The Health Resources and Service Administration (HRSA) awarded three-year demonstration grants to six states—California, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, and North Carolina.

PHI played a lead role in designing the federal PHCAST program. We also provided technical assistance to PHCAST initiatives in four of the six states (California, Massachusetts, Michigan, and North Carolina), helping to establish a common educational platform for all personal care workers entering the field. A 2016 evaluation report from HRSA found that the program led to lower attrition rates among home care workers, as well as high levels of satisfaction among workers who received the core competencies training. Three of the six PHCAST states supplemented entry-level training with specialty training in order to expand career opportunities for personal and home care aides, and some states developed comprehensive training websites where aides could find online curricula and handouts.

We are now building on lessons learned from the PHCAST program to strengthen training standards in states around country. We’re also working with federal leaders to strengthen this workforce, as well as with researchers to deepen our understanding of the care workforce.

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