With the announcement that the Deferred Action of Childhood Arrivals, or DACA program, would be ending, many questions were raised about the state of the Caregiver recruitment landscape. It is currently unknown if any legislation will be introduced to replace DACA, or if it will simply be removed. Often referred to as “DREAMers,” surveys of these DACA beneficiaries show that one in five of the nearly 800,000 in the program work in the health care and education sectors. In a market where there already aren’t enough Caregivers, this could lead to an even bigger shortage in the near future.
Certain states could be at a greater risk with the ending of DACA. Over a third of DREAMers live in California, with other states like New York, Illinois, Texas, and Arizona also having especially large concentrations. That being said, all states could see their recruitment efforts suffer with more restrictive immigration policies.
According to the Paraprofessional Healthcare Institute, approximately one in four Caregivers are immigrants, and only 72% of the caregiving workforce were born U.S. citizens. In total, there are an estimated 1 million immigrants providing direct care today. With AARP projecting by 2020 there will be only 5 million paid Caregivers to care for the 145 million Americans needing assistance of some kind; tighter immigration policies could lead to even fewer new care workers entering the field.
Home care is an industry that has seen a lot of changes over the past few years in response to new regulations and legislation. From overtime exemption laws to rising minimum wage, many of these have had a ripple effect that's felt throughout the industry. It remains to be seen the full effect ending DACA will have on home care recruitment. With what we currently know, the best plan is to continue building healthy recruitment strategies for the future knowing agencies will find a way to provide quality care to those they serve.
When it comes to combatting the Caregiver crisis, recruiting and retention are critical for growing home care agencies. If you’re looking for help recruiting Caregivers you aren't reaching today, we'd love to have a conversation about how we can help.
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