Yvette Gary was unemployed when she received an e-mail notifying her of a free training offered by FCS to become a Certified Home Health Aide (CHHA). “I thought, I am a caring individual. This is something I could do,” Yvette recalled. Just a few months later, a very proud Yvette and 15 other women filed into a classroom at Keyport High School to cheers from their friends and family as they received their provisional licenses after successfully completing the CHHA training course.
“I am proud to stand before you today. This moment has brought us closer to where we wanted to be economically,” Yvette told her classmates. “I want to thank FCS for all it has done for us.”
The NJ Division of Consumer Affairs requires that all Home Health Aides be certified. The 76-hour training program consists of 60 hours of classroom instruction and 16 hours of clinical instruction. Once certified, our CHHAs follow the individual care plan developed by one of six supervising Registered Nurses. They are qualified to provide assistance with Activities of Daily Living, such as bathing, dressing, and toileting; checking for pressure areas; reminders for medication; ambulation and mobility assistance. CHHAs can also shop for and prepare client meals, help with laundry and perform light housekeeping.
FCS Board Chair Paul Stach praised the graduates for their performance throughout the training. “You are a dream class!” Paul exclaimed. “Not only did all of you earn an “A” on both the written and clinical parts of the tests, you demonstrated compassion for one another. You are good people; the very embodiment of who we are at this agency and we are extremely proud of you.”
FCS has been providing Home Care Services throughout Monmouth County for almost 60 years, but the number of individuals who need Home Care is rapidly outpacing the number of CHHAs available to provide that care. Part of the problem is the high cost of CHHA training. The individual out-of-pocket expenses, which can run as much as $1,500 per student, are not affordable for many. Fortunately, through generous grants from FCS’s community partners, the agency is able to conduct its own certification training and provide scholarships to cover the certification training and associated costs to qualified candidates.
Terri Harris, the class valedictorian paid special thanks to class instructors, Director of Nursing Kathleeen Vorlous and staff nurse Ciomara Yvonnet. “Thank you for guiding us along this path with your strength, your vast knowledge and your charming wit,” Tammy said. “And for helping us understand and value the Mission and Vision of Family and Children’s Service.”