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New $25 Million Program Offers Training, Coaching, and Financial Incentives to Grow the Home and Community-Based Care Workforce

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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: California’s Caring4Cal initiative provides funding to enhance home and community-based providers’ caregiving skills, contentment, job stability, and opportunities for career advancement.

SACRAMENTO – In California’s health care landscape, home and community-based care is a vital segment, and growing that field is a priority for the state and the Department of Health Care Access and Information (HCAI). The Caring4Cal program, a $25 million initiative, is expanding, enhancing, and strengthening the state’s Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) workforce. To date, the program has awarded $720,000 in incentives to more than 3,500 learners to enhance their knowledge and expand this segment of the health workforce, and the program is still enrolling new applicants.

This groundbreaking initiative provides free training, coaching, and incentives of up to $2,750 for eligible current and aspiring licensed or certified providers and Community Health Workers/Promotores/Representatives through May 2024. 

“We are excited to provide comprehensive, high-quality training programs at no cost to health care workers to develop the workforce that California needs,” said HCAI Director Elizabeth Landsberg. “Expert coaching will support the professional growth of students, newcomers, and providers working in institutional settings interested in switching to a home health care career path.”

“California is dedicated to ensuring that every community has the health workforce necessary to deliver safe, high quality, reliable, and effective health care services,” said California Health and Human Services Agency Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly. “Research shows that people favor home-based care, with the care delivered often leading to better health outcomes.” 

Over 270 free training courses are available to eligible current and aspiring licensed or certified health care providers to enhance their skills, knowledge, and professional growth.

WHY THIS MATTERS: Caring4Cal addresses the specific health care needs of rural communities, children with complex medical conditions, individuals with disabilities, and ​older adults in the Medi-Cal population. Grantee training partners have been approved by HCAI to provide these free training courses in four different languages, both in person and online.

WHAT TRAINEES ARE SAYING: “I have always wanted to gain more knowledge in the health field. I was caregiving in Oakland for two to three years, but the job was not stable for me and to the point where I was unable survive. I ended up moving back to Fairfield with my family and was given this opportunity to get training and be in the health care workforce,” said Caring4Cal participant, Berry Afisivasu. “[I am] focusing on going to school to get trained to be a licensed Certified Nursing Assistant to get me on to the next part of my life. Taking this opportunity right now will lead me into the path that I’ve always want to go in.”

ABOUT THE INITIATIVE: The Caring4Cal website has a course catalog searchable by topic, location, language, and if the course qualifies for incentives. The website also provides information on how to register for each course, connect with a career coach, and file claims for incentives. For individuals new to health care, they can learn more about career paths in health care and which career is best for them. For more information or to apply, visit

BIGGER PICTURE: Caring4Cal is California’s latest initiative to continue to build a resilient, skilled, and compassionate health care workforce as well as create a positive impact on the lives of Californians in underserved communities. The state has made multiple investments in the development of HCBS professionals and the larger health care workforce, as well as unpaid family caregivers, through the Master Plan for Aging. The state’s Master Plan for Aging includes “Caregiving that Works” as one of its Five Bold Goals.

Additionally, California’s HCBS Spending Plan provided $3 billion in enhanced federal funding to support initiatives that enhance, expand, and strengthen Medi-Cal’s HCBS services. ​Through one initiative that supports California’s direct care providers of Medi-Cal HCBS, the state distributed more than 6,000 one-time payments of $500 to financially help California’s HCBS direct care workforce, especially given the hardships they faced during the COVID-19 public health emergency, and to assist with retaining California’s existing HCBS direct care workforce.