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Improving Job Quality for the Direct Care Workforce: A Review of State Policy Strategies

Brief
December 1, 2017

This brief examines five areas where states are enacting policy reforms for the direct care workforce: (1) wages, benefits, and workforce supports; (2) financing; (3) recruitment, training, and career advancement; (4) workforce data collection and analysis; and (5) stakeholder engagement. This brief concludes with recommendations for state policymakers, including advocates and other policy actors, to support direct care workers in their states.

Key Takeaways

Direct care jobs are characterized by low pay, poor benefits, insufficient hours, and minimal training and advancement opportunities.
State policymakers are uniquely positioned to promote quality jobs for the direct care workforce.
States have wide latitude over the structure and policies of the federally-funded Medicaid program, which affects job quality in direct care.
 
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