Special Projects Fund

Grantee Name

Community Health Care Services Foundation, Inc.

Funding Area

Special Projects Fund

Publication Date

December 2012

Grant Amount


Grant Date:

April 1, 2009–May 12, 2011

Although home care recipients receive 90% of their care from home health aides (HHA), it is difficult to attract and retain home health aides across the United States. High HHA turnover decreases quality of care for patients.

In 2007, the Community Health Care Services Foundation’s (CHC’s) Home Care Paraprofessional Retention Survey indicated that 62% of the responding home care offices cited turnover rates ranging from 20%–49%.

One potential model for addressing these deficiencies is the Retention Specialist Model, which has been successful in enhancing retention in nursing homes and could be translated to the home care setting.

In August 2009, the New York Health Foundation awarded $249,980 to the CHC to conduct a demonstration of the Retention Specialist model in 16 home care agencies throughout New York State.


Outcomes and Lessons Learned

  • Reduced the average turnover rate in six of the eight treatment group agencies by 2.5%, primarily by using a team to design and implement retention strategies as opposed to designating the responsibilities to one person;
  • Conducted a survey of paraprofessionals in which they found high job satisfaction and positive ratings of the overall retention efforts of the agency. In addition, most paraprofessionals intended to remain employed with the current agency;
  • Reported that all treatment agencies formalized some aspects of the Retention Specialist model and changed agency processes and policies to support retention activities; and
  • Compiled a better profile of current home care paraprofessionals in New York State.