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Magic Valley is feeling the effects of Direct care worker shortage

“There’s a struggle to get people in the door”
Published: Jan. 8, 2021 at 4:17 PM MST
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TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) — The Idaho Council on Developmental Disabilities says a shortage of Direct care workers in Idaho is increasing. Direct care workers help individuals with physical or intellectual disabilities, as well as aging seniors.

Jack Long, a Glenns Ferry resident, has a stepson with autism who needs care around the clock. He says it’s not easy to find workers to help.

“We are considering moving closer to Twin Falls so that we can possibly have a larger pool of people to draw from just because there’s nothing here,” Long said.

While there may be more opportunities in Twin Falls than Glenns Ferry, staff shortages are being felt across Idaho.

The Center for Independent Living in Twin Falls is on the brink of working employees too hard because of these shortages.

“There’s a struggle to get people in the door,” Administrator at the Center for Independent Living Becky Baily said. “First of all, folks are staying home instead of getting out into the workforce and when people are coming into the workforce, we’re struggling with the fact that they stick around and complete their training.”

The Center for Independent Living is funded through the state. Becky Baily says while the Center is trying to raise wages, now up to $11 an hour in Twin Falls, it’s very hard to compete with other industries.

“We’re reimbursed by Medicaid and the budgets have to be approved by the legislature and go through the Governor’s office before they ever get to the provider where we can actually pay someone a more competitive wage,” Baily says

Jack Long has a woman come to help out his stepson on the weekends, but she juggles four different clients and is a school bus driver.

“She’s it,” Long said. “It doesn’t matter how much advertising you do or word of mouth or anything else. Unless you find anyone who can move into the position, there’s nobody out there.”

For information about job applications at the Center for Independent Living or Direct care in general, click here.

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