Late Thursday, the United States House of Representatives passed its Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education (LHHS) appropriations bill for Fiscal Year 2019. Included in the $178 billion legislation, which President Trump is expected to sign into law by the end of the week, is $5 million in funding for the “Care Corps” program.
Since 2016, ANCOR has been a lead supporter and contributor to the legislation of the National Care Corps Act and the association applauds its inclusion in the House appropriations bill passed yesterday. Care Corps grants will help fill the growing need for caregivers and direct support staff across a variety of contexts including, notably, for services and supports delivered to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD).
The Care Corps provision of the LHHS appropriations bill was introduced by Representative Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-NM), who championed the measure based on her recognition of the growing demand for quality supports for seniors, veterans and others, along with individuals with disabilities. Although the exact details of the program still need to be determined, the funds allocated are expressly designed to help provider agencies hire and train additional staff and to train volunteers to provide care services.
“With nearly half of all Direct Support Professionals employed by I/DD service providers leaving their posts within a year of appointment, people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families are left in the lurch as they wait for providers to deliver supports that they simply aren’t staffed to provide,” said Esmé Grant Grewal, Vice President of Government Relations for ANCOR. “That’s why the Care Corps program is a critical piece of the solution to the workforce crisis, and why we’re so grateful to Representative Lujan Grisham for her tireless advocacy on this legislation.”
At the same time ANCOR is grateful that funding for Care Corps is forthcoming, the association also acknowledges that $5 million is just the beginning when it comes to alleviating the Direct Support Professional workforce crisis. Therefore, ANCOR will continue to advocate for policies like Care Corps and others that enable I/DD provider agencies to hire, train, support and retain direct support staff. For more information about ANCOR’s advocacy on the DSP workforce crisis and to join our efforts, download our white paper on the topic.