Congress has begun the fiscal year (FY) 2024 appropriations process. On March 15, Office of Management and Budget Director Shalanda D. Young testified before the Senate Budget Committee on the Biden administration’s FY 2024 budget request. Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra is likely to testify on Capitol Hill in the coming weeks. Among the request included in the HHS budget is to expand and stabilize the direct care workforce, an additional $11.5 million in FY 2024.
In September 2022, HHS’ Administration for Community Living (ACL) established a national technical assistance center to help strengthen the direct care workforce. With FY 2023 funding, ACL is beginning to build a hub through which state, private, and federal entities involved in the recruitment, training and retention of direct care workers can access model policies, best practices, training materials, technical assistance, and learning collaboratives. In FY 2024, ACL requests $11.5 million to fully fund operation of the resource hub and to support development of new approaches, as follows:
Aging Network Support Activities – Direct Care Workforce (+$8 million) to fully fund hub operations and establish demonstration grants to test recruiting, retention, and training approaches that can be replicated and scaled across states.
Developmental Disabilities Projects of National Significance (+$3 million)/Independent Living Projects of National Significance (+$500,000) to extend the scope of the above-described initiatives to the direct care workforce that supports people with disabilities who are not covered by the statutory authority of Older Americans Act.
ACL proposes to also strengthen the caregiving infrastructure and support the implementation of the National Strategy to Support Family Caregivers, that recommends actions that federal agencies, states and communities can take to better support families and other informal caregivers. The second supports actions to strengthen and expand the direct care workforce, as highlighted above.
Increases are also requested for Senior Nutrition and Home and Community-Based Supportive Services, and its corresponding programs. ACL’s requests also reflect the need to include funding increases to continue programs that address abuse and neglect, and for grants to support state adult protective services programs, and for state long-term care ombudsman programs.