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For Immediate Release
March 14, 2024
Elizabeth Goodsitt, 608-266-1683
Jennifer Miller, 608-266-1683

Certified Direct Care Professional Program Now Available in Spanish

Start your health care career with free training in your preferred language

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) now offers free online training to become a certified direct care professionals (CDCPs) in Spanish. CDCPs care for older adults and people with disabilities in their homes or community living spaces, helping with bathing, dressing, eating, exercise, and other daily activities.

Research published by the National Institutes of Health's PubMed suggests people who have providers of the same race or demographic background have greater satisfaction, a higher quality of health care, and more trust in their provider.

Health Compass Milwaukee reports, 4.7% of the state's population over age 5, or about 263,000 people, speak Spanish at home. The U.S. has the largest Spanish-speaking population outside of Latin America and Spain, and according to the 2020 Census, 18.7% of Wisconsin's population is Hispanic.

"Certified direct care professionals serve some of the most vulnerable people in Wisconsin. Ensuring the best care possible includes being able to easily communicate and understand an individual's unique needs," said Wisconsin Medicaid Director Bill Hanna. "The CDCP program is crucial to meeting our state's caregiving needs, and it offers workers a chance to establish a path to more advanced health care jobs, such as certified nurse assistant (CNA), licensed practical nurse (LPN), or registered nurse (RN)."

Jake McDonald, senior state policy advocacy specialist for PHI, the nation's leading authority on the direct care workforce, said, "This program is a vital intervention. Wisconsin's approach weaves together compassion and practicality, addressing the demand for skilled workers with an understanding of the community's linguistic diversity. Wisconsin is crafting a more inclusive, empathetic environment where both caregivers and those in need of care are seen, heard, and valued."

To become a CDCP, candidates must complete online, self-paced courses on caregiving topics such as safety, ethics, and communication. Most people can complete the training in about 30 hours. After training, they must pass an online exam to earn certification. The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay manages the curriculum, testing, and certification.

Benefits of becoming a CDCP

CDCPs who get a job with an eligible employer can earn a $250 hiring bonus. Those who work for at least six months can earn another $250 as a retention bonus. They also can earn a bonus for referring others to the program.

To help CDCPs find employment that is right for them, once certified they will have access to WisCaregiver Connections. This free online platform lets them post their candidate profiles, look at job postings, connect to employers, and find resources. About 700 registered health care providers are looking for job candidates, with more added daily.

Benefits for employers

Eligible home and community-based service providers can also sign up to access WisCaregiver Connections, which allows them to:

  • Post job openings
  • Auto-match with jobseekers
  • Screen candidate profiles and credentials

Current employees of eligible providers can take the training and earn bonuses of up to $500 at no cost to the employer.

Opportunities for high school students

The CDCP program is now listed on the Direct Patient Care Career Pathway. Career pathways are designed to prepare high school students for their career after graduation. Teachers who help support students by providing information about this career may also be eligible to earn a $250 bonus for their school.

Anyone interested in the program can visit or to learn more and get started.

Last revised March 14, 2024