Direct Care Worker Alaisha Giles Speaks at 14th annual Legislative Breakfast
ServiceNet’s Alaisha Giles recently spoke at the 14th annual Legislative Breakfast, hosted by the Holyoke/Chicopee Department of Developmental Services (DDS) and Citizen Advisory Board (CAB).
Giles, a direct care worker with ServiceNet since 2015, was invited to speak by DDS and CAB on the need for legislative support and funding for direct care workers to help address direct care employee shortage and burnout issues locally and across the Commonwealth.
“We are the frontlines of this work,” Alaisha says. “We are with individuals when they first wake up in the morning; throughout the day, helping them achieve their goals; and at night to ensure they are always cared for and safe. We work double shifts and must do more with less. All while often taking on second or third jobs. It shouldn’t be this hard to do such important work.”
Members of the Holyoke/Chicopee Citizen Advisory Board spoke on similar issues around the crisis in direct care staffing, as well as challenges facing day programming since the pandemic, service coordinator caseloads, and more.
Upcoming Advocacy Opportunities to Support Human Services Workers
To address the staffing crisis, the Caring Force, an advocacy initiative of the Providers’ Council, is currently supporting two bills that would create a student loan repayment program for human services workers and ensure a livable wage for private, community-based nonprofit human services workers.
This important Pro-Workforce Legislative Agenda has been filed at the State House for the 2023-2024 session. The Caring Force needs community help to secure legislative co-sponsors.
The Caring Force will also hold its 11th annual rally at the Massachusetts State House on May 16. Attendees will help advocate for The Providers’ Council’s Pro-Workforce Legislative Agenda, and share personal stories, better helping our leaders understand just how vital the human services sector is in building caring communities across the Commonwealth.
The Providers’ Council, formally known as the Massachusetts Council of Human Service Providers, Inc., is an association of community-based human services agencies in Massachusetts with more than 220 members. ServiceNet CEO Susan Stubbs is a member of the Council’s Board of Directors.