Member: PHI (Paraprofessional Healthcare Institute)

Personal care aides (PCAs) provide essential supports and services that enable older adults and individuals with disabilities to reside safely in their homes and participate in their communities. They are known by many job titles, including personal assistants, direct support professionals, and in-home care providers. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, collectively these workers constitute the fastest-growing occupation in the nation.

A large proportion of the personal care workforce serves consumers in state Medicaid programs—Medicaid State Plan Personal Care Options, Medicaid Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) waiver programs, and under Medicaid 1115 Demonstration waiver programs. However, unlike other direct-care occupations, particularly certified nursing aides and home health aides, there are no federal training standards for PCAs who work under publicly funded programs.

Consequently, training standards for PCAs, where they exist at all, vary by state and by program, potentially leading to significant differences in the level of preparedness of these workers across the country—and even within states. The PHI 50-State PCA Training Project has collected comprehensive information about PCA training standards in Medicaid programs across the country. Following a brief summary of our national findings, this report presents our findings on training standards in each state and the District of Columbia.

View the report here.