Iowa CareGivers Association (ICA) History
The Iowa CareGivers Association (ICA), an independent nonprofit (501(c)(3)), was founded in 1992 in response to the growing concerns about the shortage and high turnover rates of direct care workers (DCWs) such as Certified Nurse Aides (CNAs), Home Care Aides (HCAs), personal support staff and others. ICA’s sole purpose is to improve the DCW profession by advocating for policies, and practices that address the needs of the workers. ICA has consistently shared the voice of DCWs and been an advocate for the high quality care they provide when offered appropriate education, tools, and support. The ICA's mission and vision are built upon the premise that a stable, well educated, trained, respected and compensated direct care workforce is vital to the safety and well-being of all Iowans.
From its humble beginning, founded by a former nurse aide as one of the first of its kind associations in the country, ICA has become a nationally recognized organization, governed by a committed volunteer Board of Directors and guided by a statewide Direct Care Worker Leadership Council. In 2008 the ICA established the Direct Care Worker Resource and Outreach Center (ROC) in order to reach more direct care workers with the programs, services, and information they need.
Mission and Goals
ICA/ROC’s mission is, “Enhancing quality of care by providing education, recognition, advocacy and research in support of direct care workers.” ICA/ROC has three main goals:
- Increase access to quality care for those who need it
- Increase the number of direct care workers and the number who remain in the field of direct care
- Enhance the quality of care
ICA Impact and Record of Success
The ICA has a long history of success in impacting issues that affect direct care workers. Most notable is an impact timeline that portrays small and incremental steps that lead to lasting systems changes. The changes benefit workers, your employers, and those you serve.
Click here to view the Iowa CareGivers Association Impact Statement.
Click here to view the timeline of the Iowa CareGivers Association's accomplishments.
- Direct care workers will have the opportunity to work in a supportive environment where they are able to deliver the high quality of care they want to provide.
- Direct care workers’ input will be sought and embraced in quality care decisions.
- Direct care workers will have opportunities for personal and professional growth and development.
- Direct care workers are essential members of the health and long term care team and will be treated with respect by co-workers, supervisors, administrators, physicians, clients, families, and the public.
- Direct care workers will earn an adequate livable wage and have access to health care.
- Direct care work will be recognized as a profession, with a distinct education and training criteria, professional standards, and competency requirements.
- Direct care workers will 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.
- Direct care workers will have opportunities to speak on behalf of their profession and should have their voices heard in policy making and in the community.
Those Who Benefit from the Work of the Iowa CareGivers Association/ROC:
- Certified Nursing Assistants
- Home Health Aides
- Homemaker Aides
- Patient Care Technicians
- Resident Assistants
- Direct Support Professionals
- Personal Care Attendants
- Hospice Aides
- Medication Aides
- Rehabilitation Aides
- Adult Day Care Workers
- Assisted Living Aides/Workers/Assistants
- Family Members/Family Caregivers
- Health Care Provider Employers and Supervisors
- Our Society as a Whole!
The Iowa CareGivers Association (ICA) is unique! You may ask what sets us apart from others, and the most important element is this: We are the INDEPENDENT voice for direct care workers. We are able to stay true to our mission and the direct care workers we serve because we are not owned by another organization, association, or agency. Click here to see how some graduates of the ICA Leadership Program describe the ICA.
What's So Special About The Iowa CareGivers Association?