Free caregiver certification program offered in DHS, UWGB partnership
GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) – A new program is tackling our state’s caregiver shortage.
The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) estimates we’ll need 20,000 more caregivers by next year.
The DHS and University of Wisconsin-Green Bay want to certify at least 10,000 new direct care workers, and they’re breaking down barriers to do it. Instead of going to a college or private organization, people can now become certified caregivers from the comfort of their own home.
UWGB, working alongside the DHS, developed a free, online curriculum. After about 30 hours of learning, you can take an online exam to earn certification.
A report from a coalition of care associations says caregiver job vacancies reached nearly 30% for assisted living and nursing home providers in 2022.
A DHS executive says the goal is to keep this program going in the future. “We have young people coming in the pipeline, we get a lot of people that get recertified and stay in the program, some that move on, and that’s great because the other areas of health care need it as well,” Kevin Coughlin of the DHS told us.
The DHS says there are more than 90,000 people in home- and community-based care systems relying on talented caregivers, and they could see some benefit as more people become certified direct care professionals thanks to this program.