This month, Arizona became the third state to officially implement the Family Licensed Health Aide Program! This program aims to help families with medically fragile children by providing an opportunity for family members to train and become licensed and employed caregivers for their children.
Legislation for this program was passed last year, but now parents can officially train, test and receive certification, meaning they can be hired by any Medicare-certified home care agency and get paid to provide the care they’ve already been giving to their children. The caregiver must attend and pass the State and Board of Nursing mandated schooling to become a clinically-trained and fully-certified nursing aide. The board reports that this program typically takes less than a week to complete. This program provides a great opportunity for parents and families with medically fragile children as it helps alleviate the increased costs of medical care and supplements income lost when a parent has to take leave or quit their jobs to take care of their child. This opportunity also provides parents who have currently outsourced childcare the chance to become their child’s primary caregiver while reducing the financial risk involved in full-time caregiving. Outsourcing care is a concern that has been increasingly prevalent during the Covid-19 health crisis as bringing in additional care providers poses a threat to all parties involved, but can be especially dangerous for children and families who may have underlying conditions causing them to be immunocompromised.
The Family Licensed Health Aide Program provides great benefits to the families who participate, including:
Passing legislation allowing for the Family Licensed Health Aide Program is a great step for care equity for families in Arizona! Colorado and New Hampshire have already implemented similar programs. As more states get involved, it is important that we advocate for programs like these in our communities! To learn more about this program, visit www.tshc.com.