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REPORT: California PCAs Related to Consumers Have Lower Turnover Rates

July 31, 2015

Turnover among personal care assistants (PCAs) employed through California’s In-Home Supportive Services program to care for non-family members is more than twice that of PCAs who care for their relatives, a July 2015 report shows.

Researchers from the Health Workforce Research Center on Long-Term Care at the University of California, San Francisco looked at demographic and turnover data for tens of thousands of PCAs and consumers who were first-time recipients of IHSS care in 2006 and 2007.

They found that the turnover rate — which they defined as “a change in the reported relationship between the PCA and the recipient” — was 9.7 percent for PCAs who care for family members and 20.4 percent for non-family members.

The researchers additionally compiled demographic data about IHSS consumers and their PCAs. They found that 63.5 percent of IHSS PCAs care for family members, most commonly their adult children.

The average PCA wage for family members was $9.15/hour, compared with $9.09 for PCAs who are not related to their consumer.

Another significant finding was that higher wages for non-family member PCAs correlated with lower turnover.

“For those with non-family personal care assistants, raising pay may be an important key to stabilizing the workforce and improving continuity of care,” the report says.

— by Matthew Ozga

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