Funding Sources

This collection of resources contains information on the range of funding sources available to State Medicaid agencies and other agencies and stakeholders to support the development of a high quality direct service labor force.


This Funding Sources resource collection provides information about direct service workforce initiatives funding past and present, and includes examples of sources and strategies for funding future initiatives (see Getting Started below). Organizations might use this information to sustain current activities or to stimulate financing for a new project. Federal grants, including several joint grants between federal agencies and private foundations are traditionally key funding sources. Additionally, states have begun experimenting with different ways, including legislative appropriations and the use of civil monetary penalties.

Funding opportunities for work of this kind are rarely permanent. Sometimes the best way to predict how future money will become available is to examine where it has come from in the past. Federal government, state government, and private funds have all contributed to workforce initiatives. The particular mix of financial resources available to a project will depend on timing, location, and subject matter, among other things. Use this guide as a source of strategies and ideas that will spark new and creative ways to fund your work rather than a definitive list of funding sources.

Resources are organized into 6 sections:

Each page describes the types and sources of funding available. The menu on the left contains links to all sections.

Getting Started

Despite many and varied sources for direct service workforce initiative funding, finding and obtaining funding can be difficult and time-consuming. Listed below are several strategies to improve your ability to secure funding.

  • Utilize Current Funding Streams: Look at which funding streams you already have control of; can you rearrange them to fund a DSW intervention? Increasingly, DSW work is being funded through Money Follows the Person grants.

  • Build from Existing Initiatives: Consider using grant opportunities to support or enhance existing initiatives instead of starting new programs that may be difficult to sustain.

  • Build on Past Success: Know your state’s history and accomplishments in improving the direct service workforce, and use the accomplishments of other states as a source of ideas and examples. Use past and ongoing DSW projects in your state as a foundation. Use them to argue the importance and effectiveness of these initiatives, and for new ideas about types of programs and how to fund them. An overview of public and private initiatives, state by state, may be found on the Direct Care Clearinghouse (external link).

  • Diversify Funding: Use a combination of funding sources and strategies to support your initiative; different segments of your program may be eligible for different types of funding.

  • Form Partnerships: Work with other entities and initiatives to leverage resources. Many funders favor, or even require, collaboration, and it can reduce duplication of effort and competition among entities with similar goals and interests.

  • Include Broader Workforce Activities: Think about your interventions both in terms of discrete activities related to the direct service workforce and of broader workforce activities that may be relevant to DSW issues. Different sources of funding might be available depending on how you define your project.

  • Define the Purpose of your Project: Agencies like ASPE may fund demonstration or informational studies. While other sources of funding like TANF or workforce development funds support long-term or continuation projects.

  • Use Non-Cash Support: For example, as part of their Better Jobs Better Care project, the Iowa Caregivers Association obtained in-kind matching contributions from the Department of Inspections and Appeals toward enhancing the state’s nurse aid registry, and in-kind contributions to support training and peer mentoring projects from Iowa Community Colleges, along with a number of other in-kind contributions from other agencies, consumer advocacy groups, provider associations, and other state agencies.

Created by: admin. Last Modification: Friday 18 of November, 2011 16:05:10 EST by EKDilla.

What's New?

The DSW Resource Center closed effective August 31, 2014. The site is being maintained as a static archive of resources through December 2014.

Please visit the CMS Workforce Page (external link) and visit our partners’ websites for additional information on or after December 31, 2014.

Check out the Winter 2014 edition of the DSW Resource Center newslettter!

The DSW Resource Center has published a White Paper summarizing this summer's webinar series.

The US Department of Labor (external link) announced a new rule to the Fair Labor and Standards Act which focuses on guaranteeing minimum wage and overtime for home care workers including those in the Direct Service Workforce. This rule will go into effect January 1, 2015. The DSW Resource Center created a Home Care Rule Page with information and resources related to this announcement.

We released two new Starter Kits for NWD/SEP Systems including ADRCS. Starter Kit for No Wrong Door/ Single Entry Point Systems Working to Strengthen the Home and Community-Based Direct Service Workforce and Starter Kit for NWD/SEPs: Design Considerations for Publicly-Funded Matching Service Registries for Home and Community Services.

We published Coverage of Direct Service Workforce Continuing Education and Training within Medicaid Policy and Rate Setting - A Toolkit which presents strategies and methods for covering the cost of continuing education and training for the DSW.
RSS feed Blogs