The Caring Force Blog Caring Force advocacy helps create human services loan repayment program!

| Caroline O'Neill

TCF advocacy results in student loan repayment program

Since its inception in 2011, The Caring Force has engaged around advocacy to increase funding for human services and the community-based workers who fill more than 180,000 jobs in the sector. We’re pleased to announce that student loan repayment for human services workers – one of our long time goals – has now become a reality!

Governor Charlie Baker today signed a $4 billion American Rescue Plan Act spending plan that allocates $16.5 million for student loan repayment for community-based human services workers. The spending plan also includes $13.5 million grant program for human services organizations that have initiatives around recruiting and retaining the sector’s workforce.

This would not have been possible without the 30,000 members of The Caring Force. Over the last ten years, you’ve sent thousands of emails, made hundreds of phone calls, participated in a number of rallies and met with countless elected officials in support of our Pro-Workforce Legislative Agenda. And today – December 14, 2021 – loan repayment for the human services sector has become a reality in the Commonwealth.We have many people to thank for helping this bill become a reality. Our bill sponsors – Rep. Jeffrey Roy and Sen. Eric Lesser – were unwavering champions in supporting loan repayment for community-based human services workers. We appreciate Gov. Baker signing the spending plan and his continued support of workforce development and human services. And thanks, of course, to all of you – this wouldn’t have been possible without the strong advocacy from The Caring Force.

The bill also includes an additional $39.4 million for human services rate adjustments through Chapter 257. Additionally, human services workers who worked in person during the pandemic are eligible for a one-time bonus payment from the Essential Employee Premium Pay fund if they are making less than 300 percent of the Federal Poverty Level – about $39,000 for a single person and $79,500 for a family of four.

We should be proud of this great accomplishment and this demonstration of the strength and influence of The Caring Force.

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