Direct Care Alliance
The Direct Care Alliance is a national coalition of state-based workers, consumers, and providers joining together to build a stable, valued direct-care workforce. We advocate for changes in public policy and long-term care practice, so that America’s long-term care system will:
- Provide quality care and support for direct-care consumers—elders, and individuals who are chronically ill or living with disabilities—by creating quality jobs for direct-care staff—nursing home aides, home health aides, and personal care attendants—recognizing these workers as the foundation of long-term care.
We apply our mission within a three-part theory of change:
- Reform of public policy and healthcare industry practice is more likely to benefit direct-care workers, consumers, and concerned providers—when they engage together in multi-stakeholder advocacy initiatives;
- The knowledge, hands-on perspective, and life experiences of direct-care workers are essential to these initiatives—yet rarely are they provided the support and tools necessary to participate as equal stakeholders; and
- Workers can more powerfully articulate their positions within multi-stakeholder initiatives—when acknowledged, trained, and supported as leaders in their own right.
We call this advocacy framework Quality Care through Quality Jobs. A central objective of the DCA’s immediate work is to build structures for direct care workers to have a voice in our long-term care system by establishing and nurturing a network of direct-care worker associations.
In working to fulfill our mission, the DCA takes special care to convene all long-term care stakeholders—workers, consumers, employers, and others—believing that understanding and collaboration between them is essential if we are to achieving lasting change. While achieving consensus between the at-times opposing viewpoints of these stakeholders can be challenging, we have seen that it can establish incredible momentum toward reform, and we base our work around this potential.