Better Jobs Better Care

A Foundation Initiative Focusing on Direct Care Workers

The Atlantic Philanthropies (Atlantic) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) worked together on the development and funding of the Better Jobs Better Care (BJBC) initiative. BJBC was funded at $15.5 million for a five-year period in order to effect policy and practice changes in the workforce experience of direct care workers.

The current article reviewed pertinent aspects of the BJBC initiative.

Key Findings:                        

  • In establishing BJBC, Atlantic and RWJF used recommendations from three expert panels grounded in the work of the Urban Institute and the Institute for the Future of Aging Services.
  • Key elements of BJBC were the demonstration and applied research and evaluation programs. The demonstration program targeted changes in policy and practice that focused on recruitment and retention of direct care workers. The applied research and evaluation program focused on workplace and public policy that addressed recruitment and retention of direct care workers.
  • A National Advisory Committee working with BJBC participated in the grant funding process. Out of 200 submitted proposals, five demonstration programs were funded.

The BJBC arose out of the expressed commitment by Atlantic and RWJF to workforce improvement for direct care workers. The foundations emphasized the integral role direct care workers play in the health care system.