More than 500,000 caregivers eligible to receive paid, comprehensive training from national and state leaders in home care best practices.
Homebridge, a San Francisco based organization dedicated to quality in-home supportive services, has received a state grant of up to $16.2 million to strengthen California's caregiving workforce through the In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) Career Pathways Program. The program, set to launch this month, will provide a broad array of training and career opportunities to the 550,000 IHSS home care providers who serve more than 650,000 residents statewide.
IHSS workers comprise a large portion of California's direct care workforce which currently outnumbers every single occupation in California. Demand for quality in-home care and supportive services will keep growing as California's over-65 population is projected to reach 8.6 million - 1 in 5 residents - by 2030 with an 88% increase in older adults with self-care limitations.
"Homebridge was founded on the principle that a skilled and supported caregiving workforce is fundamental to providing quality home care and we have upheld that value as a leader of exceptional provider training in the Bay Area since 1985," said Mark Burns, Executive Director of Homebridge. "We are honored to contribute our values and expertise to help meet the urgent and growing need for quality home care throughout California."
Homebridge will provide a complex offering of more than 65 different classes in five languages to thousands of participants beginning in early 2023. All IHSS and Waiver Personal Care Services (WPCS) Providers in California are eligible for the paid online and in-person courses designed to enhance skills and knowledge across a wide range of caregiving topics.
To develop this ambitious program, Homebridge is partnering with state and national organizations who are well-known and highly respected leaders in the field - Corporation for Supportive Housing (CSH), Futuro Health, PHI and the Zen Caregiving Project. The unique partnership will provide preparation and training that supports the broad diversity and increasingly complex needs of today's care recipients.
"San Francisco has long been a leader in funding training for caregivers in the In-Home Supportive Services program," stated Kelly Dearman, Executive Director of the San Francisco Department of Disability and Aging Services (DAS). "This leadership has helped pave the way for Homebridge to roll out their training statewide, and this broad range of programs will benefit our workforce with valuable educational and career opportunities as well as help address the critical shortage of caregivers in our City and state head on."
Homebridge is also partnering with two statewide organizations to better understand and address the critical needs of providers and consumers – the California IHSS Consumer Alliance (CICA) who represent California's IHSS consumers, and the California Association of Public Authorities (CAPA) who represent the Public Authorities who provide supportive services for IHSS providers. "It's a first!" commented Janie Whiteford, President of CICA. "Linking the voices of consumers with provider training and education has never been done like this before. We are delighted to be partnering with Homebridge to achieve this important milestone which will certainly improve the quality of care for thousands of Californians."
The IHSS Career Pathways Program, administered by the California Department of Social Services (CDSS), emerged from an initiative of the California Master Plan for Aging (MPA) launched by the Newsom Administration in January 2021.
One of the MPA's five goals is dedicated to addressing the gaps in caregiving that is currently plaguing communities statewide. The plan aims to strengthen the direct care workforce and create one million high quality direct care jobs by 2031. The IHSS Career Pathways Program includes some of the MPA's key strategies for achieving this goal: providing training and career pathway opportunities and a heightened focus on equity and cultural and linguistic competence.