About us


Iowa CareGivers History

A network of excellence in caregiving and support for all Iowans.

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.” We take pride in being the INDEPENDENT voice for the direct care workforce, and able to stay true to our mission and those we serve by not being owned by another organization.  


To enhance the care and support of Iowans by providing education, research, recognition, and advocacy for those who provide direct care.

Core Values:

  • Independent trusted voice
  • Empowerment of those we serve
  • Engagement with those we serve
  • Collaboration
  • Catalyst for change
  • Inclusive
  • Thought leader
  •  Solutions-Focused
  •  Data-driven decision making


  • To ensure those in direct care have access to the education, skills, tools, and support to serve the needs of all Iowans.
  • To ensure a stable direct care workforce by supporting quality jobs to attract and retain people in the caregiving field.
  • To ensure all Iowans have access to high quality direct care, supports, and services.

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. The slow and steady steps portrayed in the impact info graphics depict the way to lasting systemic change.

Click here to view the infographic.
Click here to view the Impact of Direct Care Workforce infographic.
Click here to view the Impact of Iowa CareGivers infographic.


Funding comes in the form of state contracts, public, corporate, and private foundation grants, individual contributions, and program income. In 2017 the Iowa CareGivers (IC) Board of Directors and its Advisory Council and Direct Care Professional Leadership Council established the Iowa CareGivers Endowment.  This fund will ensure the future and long-term sustainability and impact of the organization.

Click here to donate!