What Causes Home Care Workers to Leave Their Jobs in Washington State?
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Purpose: Attracting and retaining a stable and motivated home care workforce has become a top policy priority. We investigate the relative roles of wages, hours, benefits, and other non-economic factors on the turnover of home care workers, and the relationship between job satisfaction and actual turnover. Methods: We surveyed 402 former paid home care workers who had recently voluntarily left their home care jobs in Washington State, to identify factors associated with turnover and job satisfaction. Our 16-minute telephone survey included both workers employed both as individual providers and as home care agency employees. Results: Home care workers who left the profession over the last 4 years were more likely to be more highly educated, have a higher household income, and to be white than the current home care workforce. They were also less likely to be the primary or sole wage earner, and had more dependents, although they were not different in age or gender. These findings suggest those who left the home care workforce were slightly better off and probably had other options than continuing in home care, this conclusion is supported by our additional finding that those who have found new employment are in jobs with better benefits, wages, hours, and career mobility than was offered by their home care jobs.
- Health services