Nancy Kusmaul and Colleagues Published in Journal of Gerontological Social Work

nancy kusmaul

Assistant Professor Nancy Kusmaul, Sandy Butler, and UMSSW PhD Graduate Sally Hageman have a new paper entitled "The Role of Empowerment in Home Care Work" published in Journal of Gerontological Social Work. Abstract: The home care industry experiences similar problems with the recruitment and retention of direct care workers (DCWs) as those faced by institutions, and it is important to identify strategies to help retain and grow this important workforce. The empowerment of DCWs has been shown to be an effective strategy for increasing job satisfaction and decreasing turnover in nursing homes but has not been studied in home care. Using Kanter’s organizational theory of empowerment, including structural empowerment (structure of opportunity, access to resources, access to information, and access to support) and psychological empowerment (meaning, competence, self-determination or autonomy, and impact) this study examined whether home care workers (HCWs) feel empowered in carrying out their jobs. An exploratory, qualitative study of 12 HCWs, recruited from two states in the United States, found high levels of both structural and psychological empowerment among research participants, as well as a number of disempowering aspects of their job. Findings suggest ways to support elements of the work that HCWs find empowering and decrease elements that contribute to job dissatisfaction and turnover. Kusmaul, N., Butler, S., & Hageman, S. (2020). The Role of Empowerment in Direct Care Work. Journal of Gerontological Social Work. Advance Online Publication.