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The Value of Adult Learner-Centered Training

August 2, 2017

Research and best practices show that high-quality training for home care workers can improve both job satisfaction and care outcomes. To strengthen training in the Chicago area, in 2015 PHI formed the “Quality Care through Quality Jobs (QCQJ) Training Collaborative” (“collaborative”) with four home care providers and a labor union. Together, they developed and pilot-tested a 40-hour, pre-service training program for personal care aides employed through their agencies.

The collaborative was built on PHI’s training approach, which is rooted in principles of person-centered care and underpinned by adult learner-centered methods. Following this approach, trainees start by sharing and reflecting on their life experiences. Trainers then introduce new skills and experiences through hands-on and scenario-based activities, and trainees take an active role in incorporating these new experiences into their existing knowledge.

Providers pilot-tested this training in 2016. As a result of the training program, 125 workers were trained with the QCQJ curriculum, while 114 workers received their individual employer’s original 24-hour training.

Three months after the personal care aides completed their training, PHI assessed the impact of the training. Compared to workers who received their employer’s original training, workers trained through the program were 16 percent more satisfied with their training and reported they were 11 percent more likely to remain in their current positions for at least one year.

Through the collaborative led by PHI, providers also recognized the benefits of high-quality, adult learner-centered training. One participating provider is incorporating adult learner-centered teaching methods into its training programs for new and incumbent workers, and another is offering the collaborative’s 40-hour training to all new hires. The findings from this program underscore the importance of investing in training for personal care aides as a step toward strengthening the home care system in Chicago and throughout Illinois.

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