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Vermont Direct Care Initiative

Vermont Direct Care Initiative 

The State of Vermont’s median age is the second oldest in the United States according to the most recent US Census data. The COVID-19 Pandemic has highlighted the critical shortage of health care staff across the spectrum of medical services in Vermont. This need is especially acute at entry level positions such as Personal Care Aide (PCAs) and Licensed Nursing Assistants (LNAs) and has been even before the pandemic. These staff are essential in providing basic supports and medical care to individuals in their homes and in Long Term Care (LTC) facilities across the state.

The Vermont Direct Care Initiative aims to address this critical staff shortage within in-home health. It is an intradepartmental partnership within Department of Disabilities, Aging, and Independent Living between the Adult Services Division (Choices for Care and Money Follows the Person Programs) and HireAbility Vermont (formerly VocRehab). The goal is to increase the number of trained Direct Care Workers providing in-home health care, improve recruitment and retention of Direct Service Workers, and promote the healthcare career ladder through scholarships and mentorships.

Scholarship Program

The Scholarship Program will start accepting applications beginning January 2023. Each scholarship will be valued at $5,000 and be used towards education or training for in-home Direct Care Workers. This could include LNA certificate programs, LNA-LPN-RN career ladder or specific skill development (behavior management, nutrition, Alzheimer’s specialty training, etc.).

Scholarship Qualifications:

  • At least 12 months of work as a Direct Care Worker providing in-home care.
  • Priority given to those who are currently employed with a Home Health Agency or Homebased Provider and providing in-home care.
  • Personal goal to continue education and employment within in-home direct care.

Scholarship Application Checklist: 

Mentorship Program

Mentorships provide an opportunity for Direct Care Workers to deepen their knowledge, connect with others in the field, and have the support of an experienced Direct Care Worker to reflect and ask questions. The Mentorship Program is still in development stages with an anticipated late winter/early spring 2023 start date.

Program Coordinator Information:

Jamie Blondin

HireAbility Vermont (formerly VocRehab)

HC 2 South, 280 State Drive, Waterbury, VT 05671-2040 

(802) 904-3820