Biden Signs Executive Order to Support Care Workers and Family Caregivers

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Explaining what happened. 

This brief summarizes the main points of the executive order and highlights implications for people with developmental disabilities and those who receive home and community-based services (HCBS)

 

 

 

Published 5/08/2023

DOI: Forthcoming
Biden EO (1)

What is an executive order?

An Executive Order is like a set of instructions or rules that the President gives to government agencies and officials. It tells them what to do or not do, how to do their jobs, and what to prioritize. It is important because it has the same legal power as a law passed by Congress, and the President doesn't need permission from other parts of the government to put it into action.

Summary

On April 18, 2023, President Biden signed an Executive Order to expand access to affordable, high-quality care and give care workers and family caregivers more support. The Executive Order will:

  • Increase accessibility¬†and affordability for families by directing federal agencies to:
  • Identify grant programs to support childcare and long-term care for federal workers.
  • Lower costs for families enrolled in the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) program.
  • Review childcare subsidy policies and consider setting standards for when and how subsidies should be provided to federal employees.
  • Improve access to home-based care for veterans by directing the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to consider expanding its Veteran Directed Care program to all VA Medical Centers. This program provides veterans with funds to hire personal care assistance, including assistance from family members.
  • Improve job quality for early educators by increasing pay and benefits for Head Start teachers and staff.

  • Enhance job quality for long-term care workers by directing the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to consider issuing guidance and regulations to improve the quality of home care jobs. This includes using Medicaid funds to ensure there are enough home care workers to provide services to seniors and people with disabilities.
  • Support family caregivers by directing HHS to consider a new dementia care model that includes respite care and provides family caregivers some relief. The VA will also consider expanding access to family caregiver programming to provide additional mental health support.
  • Advance workers' rights by publishing a sample employment agreement to ensure child- and long-term care workers and employers understand their rights and responsibilities.
  • Ease construction of early childhood facilities for Tribes by streamlining the grant process for applying for, constructing, and improving early childhood facilities This guidance applies to tribal grantees of federal child care assistance and Head Start.
  • Engage affected communities by working directly with parents, guardians, other relatives providing caregiving support, people receiving long-term care, State and local experts, care providers, employers, and labor unions.

Implications

  • President Biden's Executive Order calls on federal agencies to increase compensation for care workers, provide more support for family caregivers, and expand access to high-quality child and long-term care.
  • Improving the working conditions and boosting the wages and benefits of direct support professionals and family caregivers are critical steps to ensure people with disabilities have access to care in home and community settings.
  • This Executive Order represents a commitment to improving access to affordable and high-quality HCBS for people with disabilities.