Jonathan, who has quadriplegia, does not require nursing care, but he does require a high level of care. As Jonathan, now 26-years-old, ages, it is becoming increasingly difficult to find qualified and committed Personal Care Attendants (PCAs).
It took well over a year to recruit and hire the PCA who began working for him a month ago.
Currently, Jonathan’s family is actively recruiting for another Direct Support Professional to join his team. In the four years since receiving DDS adult services, he has hired two additional people who both resigned within six months.
Jonathan’s story is one of many both for families and agency providers.
Chronic vacancy rates are now the norm. Massachusetts’ high cost of living, low unemployment rate, and increase in minimum wage only aggravate the situation. The next issue of our quarterly print newsletter, Advocate, will include more stories that only remind us that the workforce crisis is beyond concerning.
As the budget season begins, we will need to be unified and share all our voices about this crisis. Please stay tuned.
We encourage families to join us on February 13 at the State House for Supporting Families Day. And on March 4, we hope families, staff, agencies, and other friends join us at the State House for our joint Legislative Reception. Both events will include advocacy on the workforce.
Jonathan and others need to change the “new normal” – and we can only accomplish that change together.