The legislature recognizes that care workers provide support to others who are not able to fully care for themselves or live independently without support. Care workers are paid to support individuals in their homes, in the community, in the workplace, and in classroom settings. By providing support to an individual or a small group in need of care, these care workers improve the lives of the recipients by attending to their specific needs. Care workers work with children, the elderly, and people with disabilities or other significant barriers. The legislature also recognizes that care workers are among the lowest paid workers in the labor market and that the need for such workers is expected to grow in the next 20 years.
This bill proposes establishing a care worker research and resource center, with the intent of supporting the career, economic, and professional success of care workers in order to improve the health, safety, and social outcomes of the individuals receiving care. The care worker research and resource center must be established by July 1, 2020.
The bill amends current RCW such that the Workforce training and education coordinating board’s health care stakeholder group, described under RCW 28C.18.120, shall select an entity to create, administer, and maintain a care worker research and resource center. Further, it provides guidance about collecting and using relevant data and supporting workers and career development. The board's stakeholder group must present an initial report to the appropriate committees of the legislature on its progress by December 31, 2019.
By December 31, 2020, and each December 31st thereafter, the center must present a report to the appropriate committees of the legislature and the board's health care stakeholder group. The report must include, at a minimum, a summary of data collected and a summary of the types of support and required resources provided to care workers.