About us


Iowa CareGivers History

Support for Direct Care Workforce = Good Care and Services for Iowans = Quality of Life for ALL!

The Iowa CareGivers, an independent nonprofit (501(c)(3)), was founded in 1992 in response to the growing concerns about the shortage and high turnover rates of those who work in direct care such as Certified Nurse Aides (CNAs) and Home Care Aides (HCAs).   As massive numbers of Iowans reach retirement age over the next several years and the demand for more home and community-based supports is on the rise, the number of those available to fill these jobs is dwindling at alarming rates.  Some have referred to these daunting circumstances as a Tsunami of Need with grave forecasts about the ability to meet people’s needs.

Iowa CareGivers sole purpose is to support the direct care workforce so they, in turn, are there to support Iowans and their families during their times of need.  It is built upon the guiding principles that a stable, well-educated, skilled, respected, and well-compensated direct care workforce is vital to the safety and well-being of all Iowans. Iowa CareGivers also serves in a supportive role and in partnership with employers of direct care workers, consumers, and their families.

Programs and services include statewide and regional educational conferences; newsletters and other resources; mentor, leadership, and other training opportunities; recruitment resources; recognition programs; and much more.

We support policies and practices that will ensure that those in direct care receive high quality standardized education and skill training; opportunities to advance within the field of direct care; earn a wage that is consistent with the importance of the service they provide; have access to affordable health insurance; and receive the respect they deserve! 


Unique and Independent

Iowa CareGivers is the first of its kind in the country and has received national recognition as a “Best Practice.”   What sets us apart from many is that we are the INDEPENDENT voice for the direct care workforce. We are able to stay true to our mission and those we serve because we are not owned by another organization, association, or agency.  See “What’s So Special” from those working in the field, family caregivers, and consumers.

What’s So Special About Those in Direct Care
What’s So Special About Iowa CareGivers



“Enhancing the quality of care by providing education, recognition, advocacy and research in support of those who work in the field of direct care.”



Iowa CareGivers has three main goals:

  1. Ensure those in direct care have access to the education, skills, tools, and support needed to be prepared to serve the needs of Iowans of all ages and abilities.
  2. Ensure a stable direct care workforce by supporting job quality needed to attract people to the field and keep them in it.
  3. Ensure all Iowans have access to high quality care, supports, and services.



Direct Care Workers Are Entitled To:

  • Have the opportunity to work in a supportive environment where they are able to deliver the high quality of care they want to provide.
  • Have their expertise sought and embraced in quality care decisions.
  • Have opportunities for personal and professional growth and development.
  • Be recognized as essential members of the health and long-term care team and be treated with respect by co-workers, supervisors, administrators, physicians, clients, families, and the public.
  • Earn a wage that reflects the importance and value of their skills, knowledge, and service, and have access to affordable health care coverage, retirement, and other benefits.
  • Be recognized as a profession, with distinct education and training criteria, professional standards, and competency requirements.
  • Have opportunities to network with peers, and in doing so, create a support system that fosters greater pride, commitment, responsibility, and dedication to their profession and jobs.
  • Have opportunities to speak on behalf of their profession and have their voices heard in policy making and in the community.


Who We Serve

Direct Care Workforce:  Assigned over 30 different titles, they include: Certified Nursing Assistants; Home Health/Care Aides; Homemaker Aides; Patient Care Technicians; Resident Assistants; Direct Support Professionals; Personal Care Attendants; Hospice Aides; Medication Aides; Resident Treatment Workers; Rehabilitation Aides; Adult Day Care Workers; Assisted Living Aides/Workers/Assistants; Job Coaches; Universal Workers; and Others.

  • Family Members/Family Caregivers
  • Residents/Clients/Patients/Consumers
  • Health Care Provider Employers and Supervisors
  • Business Community
  • Our Society as a Whole!



Iowa CareGivers is governed by a committed volunteer Board of Directors and guided by a statewide Direct Care Professional Leadership Council.

Board of Directors
Direct Care Professional Leadership Council 

Impact:  Steadfast Systemic Change

The Iowa CareGivers has a long history of success in impacting issues that affect those who work in direct care. Most notable is an impact timeline that portrays small, steadfast, and incremental steps that lead to lasting systemic changes.

Click here to view the Iowa CareGivers Impact Statement


Funding comes in the form of state contracts, public, corporate, and private foundation grants, individual contributions, and program income.