Supporting Stabilization: A Qualitative Evaluation of a Pilot Program to Integrate Personal Caregiving Services Into Housing Settings.

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1-1-2024

Publication Title

Inquiry : a journal of medical care organization, provision and financing

Keywords

washington; oregon; diversity; core

Abstract

Three organizations in Clark County, WA, partnered together to implement a pilot program to expand access to personal caregiving services in the homeless crisis response system. The aim of this study is to describe staff and clients' experiences of the program and its impact on clients' daily living activities, health and wellbeing, and housing stability. Using a qualitative descriptive design, semi-structured, in-depth interviews were conducted with 12 clients and 5 pilot staff, representing 4 housing service providers. Interviews were analyzed descriptively to examine staff and clients' perspectives and experiences with the personal care services pilot program. Caregivers helped clients establish routines, find companionship, and connect to health and social services both logistically and socioemotionally, supporting clients' stabilization and reducing barriers to healthcare. Hiring and retaining caregivers remained difficult due to the challenging nature of the work. Staff interviews highlight the need for additional supports to better retain caregivers. Findings from the evaluation have important implications for addressing the needs of individuals exiting homelessness and suggest that personal caregivers can play an important role in supporting the stabilization process. However, employing strategies such as training and increasing wages and benefits that support the needs of the caregiving workforce is essential to sustain this type of service delivery model.

Specialty

Population Health

Specialty

Social Work

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