LONG BRANCH, NJ  – Home Health Aide jobs are one of the fastest growing occupations in the U.S.  In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that nationwide the number of Home Health Aide jobs will nearly double over the next decade as the number of individuals who need home care, predominantly seniors, also increases.  Despite the demand, there remains a critical gap in filling Home Health Aide positions. Family & Children’s Service, Monmouth County’s oldest, private, nonprofit social service agency hopes to bridge that gap by offering free Certified Home Health Aide (CHHA) training this summer to 20 qualified applicants.

“Attracting qualified Home Health Aides can be a challenge. Providing companionship and caring for home-bound clients can be very satisfying work, but it can also be difficult,” according to FCS Director of Nursing Kathleen Vourlos. “There are many caring individuals who have the capacity for this type of work, but simply don’t have the resources to afford the training.

This class is intended to remove the barriers and allow them to pursue training in a field that is in high demand.”

The pilot program, which will be funded by grants from the Community Foundation of New Jersey Monmouth County Legacy Fund and the Faith & James Knight Foundation, Inc. will include twelve full days of specialized training, July 6 – July 26, at Keyport High School in Keyport.  In addition to the training, which will be taught by a team of Registered Nurses, FCS will provide funds to cover all the associated costs and fees usually absorbed by each student, including training materials, mileage reimbursement, child care, uniforms, appropriate footwear, application and licensing fees.

All applicants must have a high school diploma or the equivalent. They also must have a valid driver’s license, car insurance, reliable transportation and be willing to travel throughout Monmouth County. Students who successfully complete the required 76-hour training program, a competency evaluation and a criminal background check will be eligible for certification by the NJ Board of Nursing and receive a Promise of Employment by FCS.

“An invitation to provide care in someone's home is both a privilege and a responsibility,” Ms. Vourlos adds. “We take that responsibility seriously.”

FCS has been providing Home Care Services throughout Monmouth County since 1958. The agency currently employs 67 CHHAs who care for 170 seniors and individuals with mental, developmental and physical disabilities, a majority of whom qualify for Home Care Grant assistance. Working with a care plan developed by a supervising nurse, FCS CHHAs can provide assistance with a range of activities, including bathing and dressing, medication reminders, ambulation and mobility assistance.  CHHAs can also shop for and prepare client meals, help with laundry and perform light housekeeping.  FCS Home Care Services is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Home Care, Inc., an organization that promotes the delivery of high-quality Home Care in communities throughout New Jersey.

“We see Home Care as an essential part of our Mission and Vision to strengthen and preserve the dignity and independence of people,” says FCS CEO Delly Beekman.  “Most people would prefer to remain at home as they age.

Home care allows them to remain in their homes longer or return home sooner from a care facility, at far less cost.”

Individuals interested in applying to become a Certified Home Health Aide should contact FCS at 732-222-9111, extension 114.  Applications are being taken now and will be accepted through June 30th. For more information about Family & Children’s Service Home Care Services, visit our website at www.fcsmonmouth.org