A recent post from the New York Times reported that personal care aides topped the list of occupations expected to grow the most between 2012 and 2022 (580,800 new positions). In the fourth spot was home health aides (424,200 jobs) and nursing assistants came in at number six (312,200 jobs). These numbers indicate that in the next ten years there will be a need for over 1.3 million caregivers.
In addition, according to PHI (formerly the Paraprofessional Healthcare Institute), in 2020 the direct care work force will become the largest occupation in the United States, surpassing the number of retail salespeople.
The lack of experienced and qualified caregivers for individuals with autism is a serious growing issue in our community. Many attribute this shortage as well as the extremely high turnover rate in the caregiver profession to low wages.
In 2011, Autism Speaks provided a grant of $150,000 over two years to Autistic Global Initiative to create a Daily Living and Residential Curriculum for caregivers of adults with autism. The curriculum is now taught through a 12-week online course hosted by the Houlton Institute. The third round of the course begins next Monday, March 31. Learn more here!