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New York City Homecare Aide Training and Employment Initiative Launched

February 14, 2013

In collaboration with The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, UJA-Federation of New York, and additional key lead foundation supporters and organizations, PHI has launched the Homecare Aide Workforce Initiative (HAWI). This $3 million training and employment pilot is designed to improve both the quality of home care jobs and the quality of care for older adults in New York City.

Through this multi-year training and employment initiative, at least 1,000 low-income New York City residents aged 18 and over will receive hands-on, intensive, comprehensive, and specialty training: 

  • 600 new home care aides will receive entry-level training and opportunities to earn required credentials and quality jobs.
  • 400 home care aides employed in the field will receive Specialty Aide training in cultural diversity and dementia.

The project’s evaluation, conducted by the Visiting Nurse Service of New York‘s Center for Home Care Policy and Research, will help to identify best practices and lessons learned in home care workforce recruitment, training, and supervision, for replication by other agencies in New York and across the country. The pilot also intends to offer a benchmark for public and private funders to use in evaluating other workforce training efforts moving forward.

“PHI is pleased to have been selected to help design the Homecare Aide Workforce Initiative,” said PHI President Jodi M. Sturgeon. “We believe the result will establish a new standard for assessing the quality of future training and employment programs for direct-care workers across the country.” 

There are 154,000 home health aides and personal care aides in New York City, making home care one of the city’s largest occupational groups employing low-income workers.

A redesign of the Medicaid program in New York State has resulted in sweeping changes to New York City’s home care system. This pilot is helping participating agencies to respond effectively to a new paradigm of care. Participating in the training and employment initiative are UJA-Federation beneficiary agencies: Selfhelp Community Services, Inc., Jewish Home Lifecare, CenterLight Health System, the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty, and other home care agencies that have indicated an interest in the Specialty Aide Training.

PHI’s role in this initiative builds from two decades of collaboration with its affiliate Cooperative Home Care Associates. Together, the organizations have provided training and quality employment opportunities to more than 7,000 individuals in the Bronx. Building from this experience, PHI is providing extensive training, capacity building assistance, and leadership support for the participating UJA-Federation agencies.

The PHI Workforce and Curriculum Development Team is developing and testing the project’s curricula for dissemination online when the project concludes in 2014:

  • A 120-hour entry-level Home Health Aide Certification Training course to impart Personal Care Aide and Home Health Aide credentials.
  • A Peer Mentor Training Curriculum.
  • Six 16-hour Specialty Training Curricula, focused on care topics of cultural competence, dementia(s), diabetes, heart disease, palliative care, and falls prevention.

HAWI is supported by grants from The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, UJA-Federation of New York, the New York Community Trust; the Tiger Foundation, the Surdna Foundation, and the New York Alliance for Careers in Healthcare (NYACH) through the NYC Workforce Development Fund and the National Fund for Workforce Solutions/Social Innovation Fund.

— by Deane Beebe

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