Certified Direct Care Professional (CDCP)
Supporting skill development and advancement
Make life better for people who are elderly or have a disability, by helping them do things they can't do on their own.
DHS is developing a new training program for Certified Direct Care Professionals (CDCP). The certification system aims to teach essential skills that direct care workers can use from one employer to another without retraining. This, in turn, will help employers officially recognize their skills and professionalize the career. The goal is to certify at least 10,000 new workers in the profession of direct care.
The curriculum, developed by the University of Wisconsin – Green Bay, prepares job seekers to enter the caregiving workforce. It's the first step on a career ladder than offers unlimited future opportunities and growth into future positions. See how the CDCP competencies(PDF) compare to other state-based and national programs.
The program is expected to launch in early 2023. Participants will:
- Receive free online training and certification testing
- May earn bonuses up to $500
- Become qualified to work in a wide variety of settings
- Connect with employers across Wisconsin
- Learn essential skills to succeed in a caregiving career
Download the program fact sheet: English(PDF) | Hmong(PDF) | Spanish(PDF)
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What does a CDCP do?
The on-the-job role of a CDCP may include:
- Personal care support activities of daily living such as bathing, dressing, grooming, eating, mobility, toileting, transferring, and range of motion exercises
- Supportive home care, such as supervision and monitoring, general household tasks varying from laundry and vacuuming to yard work, and other assistance in a participant’s home and community such as errands or accompanying the participant on outings
Workplace opportunities for CDCPs include:
- Home and community-based services (HCBS)
- Non-medical in-home care
- One-on-one care (IRIS)
- 1-2 Bed AFH
- 3-4 Bed AFH
- Community-based residential care facilities (CBRF)
Coming Soon: Updated Workforce Platform
A one-stop career resource for employers and job seekers
Building on the success of WisCaregiver Careers, we are expanding the platform to include a wider range of caregiving careers and opportunities. For example, once the new Direct Care Professional (DCP) program is launched, candidates with that certification will be able to connect to potential employees. WisCaregiver Careers will continue to be a free program that provides jobs, training, incentives, and rewards to encourage people of all ages and backgrounds to experience the satisfaction of a career in health care.
We are now recruting eligible agencies to join our free provider registry. Your presence will make it easy for CDCPs can find and connect with you after completing their training. The platform will allow you to:
- Post job openings
- Automatically match with job seekers
- Screen candidate profiles and credentialling details
Plus, when you join the registry, your current staff will also be eligible to become CDCPs and receive the bonuses, too!
Providers: join our free workforce registry
WisCaregiver Careers CNA Program
WisCaregiver Careers is a workforce development program. It addresses the shortage of certified nursing assistants (CNAs) in the state by supporting recruitment, training, and retention of individuals to care for nursing home residents across Wisconsin. The program is administered by the Wisconsin Health Care Association and LeadingAge Wisconsin. It offers:
- Free nurse aide training
- Free nurse aide certification testing
- $500 retention bonus after six months of employment as a nurse aide
To find out more information or to register for the program, visit WisCaregiver Careers or contact a participating employer nursing home directly. FoodShare recipients can also join the program through their local FoodShare Employment and Training (FSET) agency.
In 2016, Wisconsin’s chief economist warned of a looming shortage in the health care workforce. At the time, nursing homes reported one in seven caregiver positions were unfilled. Wisconsin’s Division of Quality Assurance and Division of Medicaid Services created the WisCaregiver Careers Program to help fill this gap.
The initial WisCaregiver Careers program launched in 2018 to attract and retain nurse aides to the state’s workforce. To do that, the program lowered costs and made training more accessible. Today, the successful program has been expanded to increase its impact and reach.
Civil Money Penalty (CMP) Reinvestment Program Grant, 2018-2021
- DHS used this grant to help launch the WisCaregiver Careers Program in 2018. It also received federal approval to invest $2.3 million in the program. Read about the success of the WisCaregiver Careers Program, P-02531 (PDF)
Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development Fast Forward/CMP Grant, 2020-2022
- Under this grant, DHS partnered with the Wisconsin Health Care Association and LeadingAge Wisconsin to address the CNA shortage in Wisconsin nursing homes. Through the partnership, new workers were offered free training, certification testing, and sign-on or retention bonuses.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Grant, 2022-2024
- A $6 million investment, funded through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Nursing Home & Long-term Care Facility Strike Team program, will expand the current program including recruiting qualified employers to host new CNA training slots. Funds will support employee recruitment and success through retention bonuses, employer reimbursement and success bonuses, and mentorships.
- AHCA Workforce Resource Center
- As Healthcare Workers Burn Out, Elderly Patients Can Suffer
- Health Care Employment Projections, 2016-2026(PDF)
- Nurse Aide Training and Registry
- Socioeconomic Portrait of Today’s Senior Living Employee
- The Long-Term Care Workforce Crisis: A 2020 Report(PDF)
- Training Direct Care Workers in a Pandemic Isn’t Impossible (PHI)
- Wisconsin Partnership Could Transform Nursing Assistant Field (PHI)
- WLTCAC: Long-Term Care Worker Recruitment and Retention Resources