Caregiving has remained a popular occupation for the Hispanic community, whether you are caring for an aging family member, your own children or helping to care for someone else outside of your family.
In fact, Hispanic caregivers had the highest reported prevalence at 21%, according to the Family Caregiver Alliance. But the industry has long struggled to provide the funds and resources necessary for someone to work as a caretaker without needing to take on another job, pulling time away from other responsibilities.
But thanks to a new bill that has passed for those caring and needing care, caregivers are finally going to be provided with the resources they deserve.
Signed by President Biden in April, a new executive order was put in place that will expand access to affordable, high-quality care and provide support for care workers and family caregivers. This executive order, which includes more than 50 directives for agencies across the government, is the most inclusive set of executive actions any president has ever taken to make care more affordable and accessible for hardworking families and further support care workers and family caregivers.
“The National Alliance for Caregiving applauds the Biden administration’s efforts to address our nation’s caregiving crisis by signing 50 executive actions aimed at strengthening our care infrastructure,” the National Alliance for Caregiving stated to the White House. “With these actions, the Biden administration is taking historic steps towards implementation of our nation’s first-ever National Strategy to Support Family Caregivers and towards addressing the harsh effects—and inequities—associated with caregiving for millions of American families.”
The bill comes at a time when child care and care for elderly and disabled adults has increased in price and decreased in compensation. In the last decade, the cost for long-term care for veterans has increased by over 40% while the workforce has decreased by 8%, and the care workforce has seen more than 50% in turnover rates. Under this new order, the hope is that care will not only be more accessible and affordable to those who need it, but will also be fairly compensated to those who are providing the care.
The order consists of five sections that cover the importance and methods in which the livelihoods of care workers and those they are caring for will be improved. The sections cover the following:
Section 1: Policy
The first section of the executive order details how child care and long-term care have officially become critical to communities throughout the country. Early childhood education is crucial to giving children a strong start in life while long-term care helps people with disabilities to participate in their communities in an accessible, dignified way. Care work has been deemed a matter of national security as access to care encourages the recruitment, readiness and retention of current and future military service members.
Section 2: Compensation and Job Quality
The second section of the executive order details the ways in which different federal departments will work to improve the compensation and job quality of care workers. Amongst the numerous coverages outlined in the order, some of the most notable include the secretary of health and human services’ new responsibility to increase health care coverages and compensation for care workers providing federally funded services, implement strategies to expand mental health support for care workers, and expand training and professionals to create a more informed, enjoyable working environment.
Section 3: Accessibility and Affordability
Section 3 of the ordinance calls for an increase to affordable high-quality care for workers delivering federally assisted projects. This will include lowering the cost of care for families eligible for federal programs, identifying potential opportunities to reduce current barriers to eligibility for certain federal programs, increasing access to child care through employment services and partnerships to be provided to help fund those who need access to care work.
Section 4: Expanding Options for Families by Building the Supply of Care
Section 4 details the ways in which this order will provide families with more options for high- quality, long-term home and community-based care and early learning services. This will include the implementation of rules and policies, furthering education for care workers of children with disabilities and distributing this care to Native tribes.
To learn more on how this bill will help those in the caregiving industry or who need caregiving services, visit whitehouse.gov for more information.
Sources: Family Caregiver Alliance, The White House