WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV), a member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, announced her original co-sponsorship of the Supporting Our Direct Care Workforce and Family Caregivers Act, legislation that would authorize over $1 billion to support the direct care workforce and family caregivers.
“Direct care workers and family caregivers provide an invaluable service to our families and to our communities, looking after the health and wellbeing of our loved ones,” said Senator Rosen. “However, as we continue to see consistent growth in need for care, we must take steps to expand our care workforce. We must also provide caregivers the support and resources they need to do their jobs effectively. I’m proud to co-sponsor this legislation which will assist in strengthening our national care workforce and provide needed assistance to direct care workers and caregivers in Nevada and across our country.”
BACKGROUND: Currently, 4.5 million workers – including nearly 2.3 million home care workers – make up the direct care workforce, and this industry is expected to grow by more than a million jobs by 2028, not including the jobs that will need to be filled as existing workers leave the field or exit the labor force.
The Supporting Our Direct Care Workforce and Family Caregivers Act would:
- Direct the Department of Health and Human Services, through the Administration on Community Living (ACL), to award grants to states or other eligible entities for initiatives to build, retain, train, and otherwise promote the direct care workforce, including self-directed workers and direct care supervisors or managers, and to provide grants for states or other eligible entities for educational and training support for both paid and unpaid family caregivers.
- Direct ACL to develop a center to offer technical assistance to grant awardees and other entities interested in direct care workforce development and in supporting family caregivers, aimed at collaboration across federal agencies. The assistance at the center includes:
- Working with states, key stakeholders, and other interested entities to establish career development and advancement strategies for direct care professionals, which may include occupational frameworks, national standards, recruitment campaigns, pre-apprenticeship and on-the-job training opportunities, apprenticeship programs, career ladders or pathways, specializations or certifications, or other activities.
- Exploring the national data gaps, workforce shortage areas, and data collection strategies for direct care professionals.
- Developing recommendations for training and education curricula for direct care professionals and family caregivers.
- Providing information and best practices from lessons learned through the grants.
Last Congress, Senator Rosen launched the bipartisan Comprehensive Care Caucus, with co-chairs Senators John Barrasso (R-WY), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), and Deb Fischer (R-NE). The purpose of the Comprehensive Care Caucus is to raise the public’s awareness and promote the availability and benefits of palliative care, while also finding bipartisan solutions to expand access to palliative care services, improve coordinated care, and address issues impacting caregivers.