Care-Giver Crisis – Here’s why

Disclaimer – I am not anti-union by making these comments but have concerns with how the union controls the Home Care Aides in Washington State.

As one who has had to rely on the independent direct care service providers (home care providers), I have been aware of the total lack of a qualified pool of employees and the restrictions in place that are prohibitive to alleviating the crisis.

Ten years ago in 2008,  Washington State passed Initiative 1029 which was sponsored by SEIU 775.  I was against this initiative for many reasons, many of which remain true today.  This legislation did not increase the pool of qualified caregivers but has made things much more difficult.  Many issues sounded good – such as more training for caregivers but there were too many strings attached which have actually made finding and keeping a care provider more difficult for families.

The requirements to become a Home Care Aid (ACA) are found here

The HCA checklist provided by DSHS is here

There are MANY problems with this process that make it impossible for people to get their HCA credential.

  1.  DSHS only informs applicants of the SEIU 775 training classes and actually tells people this is the ONLY training that is approved –
  2. The SEIU 775 training is very difficult to take while one is also working and may have childcare to consider and transportation issues.
  3. Classes of 3-4 hours a night, 3 nights a week may be impossible for many applicants to complete – this right here is a deal breaker.
  4. The time frame to complete the training and take the test is too restrictive with no alternative options.  If one does not complete the training by 120 days of application and one does not take the test within 200 days of application – there is no appeal, except to rule or extension available.  THAT’S IT – YOU FAILED!!




2 comments on “Care-Giver Crisis – Here’s why

  1. Ivan says:

    Interesting, that does not seem ethical for union to be allowed have monopoly on training? I like to research this more. Why do unions be involved in training? Isn’t that HR of company job? Like DSHS? Maybe training should be done by natural party? I agree testing need be made more accessible but I am also they training on important things. I hope they train on civil rights of IDD people.


    • Totally agree – there are options for training but one needs to pay for the training yourself. The state does pay if one takes the SEIU 775 training. But taking an online course in modules and then attending a couple of in-person clinics – For example, through Cornerstone Healthcare Services one can take the whole 75 hour course for $450.00 – self -pay. I’m curious what the state pays to SEIU 775 for the classes and time for the student to attend.
      HCA Training with online Population Specific:

      5 hours Orientation & Safety: $20
      12 hours Online Population Specific: $25
      58 hours Core Basic Training: $405

      Total Cost: $450


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