FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 14, 2024
CONTACT: Daniela Perez,

NDWA Calls on Georgia Assembly to Boost Home and Community-Based Services Budgets to Increase Wages for Care Workers, Ensure More Robust Care

Abril Castro, NDWA Georgia’s Civic Engagement Director, urged the General Assembly to raise wages for direct service professionals in Georgia to $16.70/hr to alleviate staffing shortages and ensure adequate care for waiver participants.

ATLANTA – On Tuesday, February 13, the National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA) testified to the Georgia House of Representatives Appropriations Human Resources Subcommittee. 

Abril Castro, Georgia’s Civic Engagement Director at NDWA, delivered a compelling testimony at the hearing, advocating for increased funding for Home and Community-Based Services’s (HCBS) New Option (NOW) and Comprehensive Supports (COMP) waiver programs for individuals with developmental disabilities. The full testimony can be accessed here

“Studies show that direct care workers, especially Direct Service Professionals (DSPs), are currently earning $10 an hour, and because of these low wages, there are shortages of workers across the state and consistent turnover in the field. We’ve seen many of our members, who were former care workers, drawn to other industries for higher wages to meet the needs of their households,” said Castro. 

“DSPs are essential workers that support individuals with disabilities – despite the increasing demand and essential nature of home care, the caregiving work of direct service professionals is still not valued. Workers receive extremely low pay,  few benefits, and limited protections. Improving the working conditions for care workers is critical to address staffing shortages and ensure waiver participants can access the care they need,” Castro continued. 

Castro’s testimony highlighted the critical need for increased funding for the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities to ensure comprehensive support for individuals with developmental disabilities and the DSPs who support them through Georgia’s HCBS programs. 

In response, NDWA’s 2024 campaign in Georgia and other states is focused on advocating for equitable funding and fair wages for the direct care workforce across HCBS programs. The campaign aims to ensure the passage of recommended rate increases for both the NOW and COMP waivers and the Elderly Disability (EDW) and the Independent for Care (ICW) waiver programs in the Fiscal Year 2025 budget, including advocating for an additional $44 million for the EDW/ICW waivers to address parity issues and raise care worker wages to $16.70 an hour.

NDWA aims to build momentum around this request and advocate for a worker-focused implementation plan with the Department of Community Health (DCH) administrative staff.

Key goals outlined for the 2024 campaign include:

  • Ensuring the passage of recommended rate increases for both NOW and COMP waivers and EDW and the ICW waiver programs in the FY 2025 budget.
  • Advocating for additional funding of $44 million for the EDW/ICW waivers to address parity issues.
  • Engage the Department of Community Health to create a worker-focused- implementation plan and ensure that workers receive a necessary boost to their wages.
  • Conducting educational campaigns to highlight victories for Georgia workers and hold entities accountable.
  • Cultivating relationships with aging and disability partners.
  • Elevating federal elected champions and holding officials accountable for actions on Capitol Hill.

NDWA remains steadfast in its commitment to advocating for fair wages and equitable funding within Georgia’s HCBS programs, ensuring that all workers and care recipients receive the support they need and deserve.


National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA)
National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA) is the leading voice for dignity and fairness for millions of domestic workers in the United States. Founded in 2007, NDWA works for respect, recognition and inclusion in labor protections for domestic workers, the majority of whom are immigrants and women of color. NDWA is powered by over 70 affiliate organizations and local chapters and by a growing membership base of nannies, house cleaners and care workers in over 20 states. Learn more at NDWA is a non-partisan non-profit organization that does not endorse, support, or oppose any candidates for public office.