About the Personal and Home Care Aide State Training Program

Authorized under Section 5507(a) of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the Personal and Home Care Aide State Training (PHCAST) Program addresses a health work force need for the training of competent direct care workers capable of handling the needs of an aging population.

In 2010, the US Health Resources and Service Administration (HRSA) awarded Massachusetts $2,233,504 to develop, implement, and evaluate a core competency curricula which best meets the needs of direct care workforce (i.e., Personal Care Atendants (PCAs) and Personal Care Homemakers).

Massachusetts' PHCAST (2010-2014)

The MA PHCAST project, directed by the University of Massachusetts Medical School/MassAHEC Network and in collaboration with the Home Care Aide Council and Bristol Community College developed a 60-hour, 13 stackable module, core competency curriculum, administered trainings to over 880 direct care workers from around the state, developed supplemental training videos, and continuing education modules, that are also available online (see online learning).

In an effort to support the diversity of the direct care workforce and with the understanding that adults learn best in a language that is familiar to them, PHCAST translated the curriculum into three additional languages, Spanish, Haitian Creole, and Brazilian Portuguese. PHCAST trainings are grounded in adult learner centered principles allowing participants to apply real life experience to the classroom environment. To support the quality of the classroom learning experience, PHCAST facilitators must participate in a standardardized train the trainer program to ensure the fidelity of the curriculum is maintained. Ongoing efforts continue to develop future education to career advancement opportunties for direct care workers.

All of this and more was done through the collective support of Advisory Group members and PHCAST partners.

Advisory Group

Several stakeholders came together as an Advisory Group to help guide the development the PHCAST curriculum and contribute to the process of training throughout the state.

  1. Key Organizations
    Numerous entities were included in the Advisory Group. Among those were 1199 SEIU United Healthcare Workers East, AARP Massachusetts, ArcMass, Association of Developmental Disabilities Providers, Boston Center for Independent Living, Bristol Community College, Central Boston Elder Services, Commonwealth Corporation, Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services, Massachusetts Department of Mental Health, Massachusetts, Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Massachusetts Department of Transitional Assistance, Executive Office of Elder Affairs, HMEA.org, Home Care Alliance, Home Care Assistance Program, Local 509 SEIU, Massachusetts Association of Behavioral Healthcare, Massachusetts Board of Higher Education, Massachusetts Community Colleges Executive Office, Massachusetts Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Massachusetts Council for Home Care Aide Services, Massachusetts Council for Home Care Aide Services, Massachusetts Commission for the Blind, Massachusetts Senior Care Foundation, MassAFLA, MassHealth, PCA Quality Workforce Council, PCA Workforce Council, The National Empowerment Center, University of Massachusetts Medical School, University of Massachusetts Medical School  Area Health Education Center, and Massachusetts Workforce Development.



Executive Office of Health and Human Services
Disability, Policies and Programs

1 Ashburton Place
Boston, MA 02108
website: www.mass.gov/hhs


Executive Office of Elder Affairs
1 Ashburton Place
Boston, MA 02108
website: www.mass.gov/eoea


University of Massachusetts Medical School
33 South St
Shrewsbury, MA 01545
website: http://chpr.umassmed.edu/our-programs/massahec-network


Home Care Aide Council
93 Concord Avenue, Suite 8
Belmont, MA 02478
Tel. 617-489-3550
Fax. 781-209-5977
website: www.hcacouncil.org


PCA Quality Home Care Workforce Council
600 Washington St., Room 7271
Boston, MA  02111
website: www.mass.gov/pca


Commonwealth Corporation
2 Oliver Street 5th Floor
Boston, MA 02109
website: http://commcorp.org/ 


Bristol Community College
Center for Workforce and Community Education
1082 Davol St
Fall River, MA 02720
website: www.bristolcc.edu/community_education/center/