man wearing medical mask and looking out a window

A PHI report released this week takes an in-depth look at job quality in the direct care workforce, examining long-standing barriers and the effect of COVID-19.

Titled “Would You Stay? Rethinking Direct Care Job,” the report proposes a new framework with five areas of focus:

  1. Training that ensures that all workers acquire the skills, knowledge and confidence to succeed. Such training would include competency-based, adult learner-centered instruction with hands-on learning.
  2. Compensation that is fair and enables workers to achieve economic stability, safeguard their health and plan for the future. In all 50 states and Washington, D.C., the direct care worker median wage is lower than the median wage for other occupations with similar entry-level requirements, such as janitors, retail salespersons and customer service representatives, according to the report.
  3. Supervision and support that includes a clear presentation of job requirements, responsibilities, workflows and reporting structures.
  4. Respect and recognition of the expertise, contributions and diverse life experience of workers. Key to such recognition is positioning direct care workers in an organization’s mission, values and business plans, according to the report.
  5. Real opportunity provided by an investment in workers’ learning, development and career advancement by creating opportunities for promotion into advanced direct care roles.