In the evolving landscape of adult day care and adult foster care, training quality and comprehensiveness are paramount. However, the notion of state governments authoring such training programs raises significant concerns, which constitutes a state government competing with the free enterprise market.

Here, we will explore why this approach might not be the most effective, focusing on the limitations of a one-size-fits-all training model and the legal implications of training-related failures.

The Limitations of a One-Size-Fits-All Approach

1. Diverse Needs Cannot Be Uniformly Addressed

Each care facility operates under unique circumstances, with residents who have varied needs and challenges. State-authored training programs often aim for broad applicability, which can lead to generic content that fails to address specific situational demands of individual facilities. Without the flexibility to tailor training to the specific needs of caregivers and residents, the effectiveness of care can be severely compromised.

2. Rapid Changes in Care Practices

The field of adult care is continuously evolving, with new care techniques, technologies, and best practices developing regularly. State-authored training materials can quickly become outdated if not constantly revised. This lag can leave care providers without the latest knowledge and tools necessary to provide the best care, potentially endangering residents.

3. Lack of Local Insight

Training developed at the state level might lack insights into local issues, including community-specific health trends, regional laws, and available resources. Local nuances are crucial for the training of care providers, as understanding the community context can significantly influence the effectiveness of care and support offered.  One county health department is recommending this approach while a smaller more rural county is recommending this one.  How is a state prepared product adapting to this reality?

4. Flawed Methodology

a. Add to that some of the proposed models, not developed by professional instructional designers.  For example, some use video learning that can embed reviews at the end.  This means you are asking direct care and other staff to sit through multiple – sometimes up to 15 – videos for one subject.  The eye strain alone can make the job discouraging as audiovisual content runs together while a review is required at the end.

b.  There is often no monitoring, as we provide, to assist someone to maximize benefit from the subject with follow-up after certain low review scores.  Typically, state governments cannot allocate resources for this.

c.  Next is this reality:  A state government is asking an owner/administrator to monitor this process and complete an Attestation that must be turned into the State Licensing Rep.  We are adding this to the duties of a person who receives the 3:00 a.m. phone calls about a resident who refuses medication or who has eloped or become violent.  This same person is even further consumed as they try to stretch dollars to make a payroll or who is gathering data to respond to a complaint.

Potential for Litigation…

5. Inadequate Training as a Liability

When incidents occur in care settings, the quality of training provided often comes under scrutiny. If a state is responsible for authoring the training programs, it could be held liable for incidents attributed to perceived inadequacies in training. This could lead to significant legal challenges, with costly litigation and settlements potentially diverting funds away from essential services.

6. The Blame Game

In the event of an incident, there is a substantial risk that the training itself will be blamed for failures in care provision. This not only affects the legal standing of the state but also demoralizes care staff, who may feel inadequately prepared to manage complex, real-world situations despite following their training, a special liability when the state government did not engage the varied level of credentialed professionals to develop specialized subjects, i.e., nutrition management. The psychological impact on caregivers can lead to decreased job satisfaction and higher turnover rates, further destabilizing care settings.

7. Setting a Precedent for Accountability

Allowing the state to control the narrative and content of training could set a challenging precedent where the state must continually defend its curriculum against claims that it failed to prevent incidents of care.  All because a department of state government decided to limit access to a free market – An American expectation – for whatever motives may be at play.  This could lead to an overly cautious approach that prioritizes covering legal bases over empowering caregivers with practical, situationally adaptive skills.  Sad!

8. Article Summary and Conclusion…

While the intent behind state-authored training for care providers in settings like adult day care and adult foster care might be rooted in standardizing quality and ensuring wide coverage, the practical implications suggest a need for reconsideration. Training for care providers needs to be dynamic, locally informed, and adaptable to specific contexts to effectively meet the diverse needs of residents and every applicable professional must be involved in the development of each specific subject.

Rather than a centralized model, a collaborative approach involving state oversight with significant input from local care experts and continuous feedback mechanisms could prove more beneficial, leaving the product development to the free market with guidelines. This model would support high-quality, up-to-date training that genuinely prepares caregivers for the complexity and variability of their roles, ultimately leading to better care outcomes and reducing the risk of litigation.

Some will copy our data and throw training products together and some in licensing bodies even insinuate providers are required to use them.  The risks, from multiple areas, remain intense.

Another Blog Post by Direct Care Training & Resource Center, Inc. Photos used are designed to complement the written content. They do not imply a relationship with or endorsement by any individual nor entity and may belong to their respective copyright holders.

Follow us in the Social Stratosphere…
facebook linkedin twitter youtube