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A milestone celebration for IHSS caregivers

IHSS Graduation photo with Erick Carrera

None of CCA’s IHSS training courses is complete without a virtual graduation ceremony. Each trimester culminates with this special celebration that, to some, may be their first-ever graduation.

It’s an occasion for caregivers to take center stage, to have their moment to shine and acknowledge their hard work and successes. Participants are given the chance to speak about their experiences in the course and discuss the impact of the skills acquired in the program with their fellow graduates. 

Tondaris Southward, an IHSS Provider who shared about her experience at her graduation, said, “I learned how to be more aware of client needs.” She mentioned that the lessons related to body mechanics, in particular, were the most beneficial for her and she was able to implement what she learned in the course right away in her role as a caregiver. 

IHSS Bilingual Mandarin Class Graduation photo with Sherry Wu

The CEO of L.A. Care Health Plan, John Baackes, attended one of the graduation ceremonies held this December. 

“This program is very important to your clients but also to you as the caregivers,” he told the class. “It gives you a leg up in your professionalism and your self-confidence. And if you have more confidence, your consumer will be confident in you!” 

“Whatever you learned here will help your client immensely,” he said. “I am convinced that during the pandemic, this program saved lives.”  

L.A. Care has partnered with CCA to provide free training to the IHSS providers who care for L.A. Care Health Plan members. Since the partnership began seven years ago, nearly 6,000 IHSS providers have completed the training under this program.

In addition to student success, another benefit to this partnership is caregiver satisfaction. According to post-training survey responses, 99% of the students believe that participating in the training was helpful to them in their roles as caregivers. 

IHSS Bilingual Spanish Graduation photo with Samuel Kwon

Resources beyond the classroom

Many graduates shared that the training equipped them with richer knowledge of how to communicate with their consumers. IHSS provider Arlene Alfaro said she learned “to have more communication with the consumer and to build more trust with [them]. Based on the skills you taught us and the things we learned in the book, I built a better relationship with my consumer,” Arlene told her instructors during her graduation. 

As a part of the material taught in class, participants are given additional resources that they may use in their caregiving careers beyond the classroom, such as nurse hotline numbers to call in case they need advice. “I learned about the other services that are available to us,” said Maria Martinez during her graduation speech. 

Additionally, the training provides caregivers a platform to meet others in the caregiving profession and establish connections that last beyond their time in the training. Another caregiver spoke about how she was positively surprised about how much she enjoyed the breakout rooms portion of the coursework because she was able to interact and establish connections with other caregivers. 

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