About the Initiative

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Direct Care Workforce Initiative

Strengthening Iowa's largest profession and ensuring quality care for Iowans

Who are Direct Care Professionals?

  • Direct care professionals (DCPs) provide supportive services and care to people with health conditions, illnesses, or disabilities. They play a critical role in supporting the independence, daily living, and health of Iowans.

  • Direct care professionals constitute the single largest profession in Iowa, estimated at 78,000 workers in 2014, and demand for direct care services is increasing at rates exceeding capacity of the workforce.

  • Workforce projections indicate the need for more than 20,000 additional direct care professionals by 2020.

  • DCPs are commonly called direct support professionals, direct care workers, supported community living workers, home health aides, certified nurse aides, and many other job titles.

Download the PDF for composition of the direct care workforce

Download the PDF for Where direct care professionals work (continuum of service delivery)

About the Prepare to Care Curriculum

The curriculum developed through the Direct Care Workforce Initiative is now available statewide! These resources give more information about the trainings and how DCPs can combine courses into Career Pathways to earn Advanced Training Certificates.

Download the PDF for composition of the direct care workforce.

Download the PDF for Career Pathways and Course Description

Click here to watch a video aout the Prepare to Care curriculum (7 minutes)

Click here to watch a recording of a webinar that gives an overview of the Direct Care Workforce Initiative and Prepare to Care curriculum. (50 minutes)

Regulation Comparisons

These comparisons of state/federal regulations and Prepare to Care curriculum content show how Prepare to Care meets the training requirements for several different settings.

Download PDf for State of Iowa Rules and Regulations for Training: How the Prepare to Care Curriculum alligns

Download PDF for Home Health (includes Local Public Health and Medicare-certified)

Download PDF for HCBS, Remedial/Medical, MI/MR/DD

Download PDF for Intermediate Care Facilities

Download PDF for Elder Group Homes, Assisted Living, Adult Day Programs

Specialty Competencies

Teams working on behalf of the Direct Care Workforce Initiative developed sets of competencies that are recommended to be covered by trainings in each of the following specialty areas of direct care.

Download PDF for Alzheimer's/Dementia

Download PDF for Autism

Download PDF for Mental Health

Download PDF for Oral Health

Download PDF for Positive Behavioral Support

Recommendations of the Direct Care Worker Advisory  Council

Download PDF for Summary of the recommended training and credentialing model

Download PDF About the pilot project that tested the training and credentialing