In September 2010, Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) awarded Massachusetts a grant titled, Affordable Care Act: Personal and Home Care Aide State Training (PHCAST) Grant Program established under Section 5507 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The purpose of PHCAST is to define core competencies across direct care workers, and to develop a training to serve as a base for further development of competency standardization.

The PHCAST Program aims to ensure that competent personal and home care aides have acquired skills that would be transportable to any job market in the nation, thus strengthening the direct-care workforce.

Massachusetts joins five other states in this endeavor: California, Iowa, Michigan, North Carolina, and Maine. Each state must implement core-training competencies, develop written materials, and protocols for training; including the development of a certification test for personal or home care aides who have completed the training.

The Massachusetts PHCAST Grant is a collaborative effort, which brings together internal and external partners including: