California GROWs – CDA’s Direct Care Workforce Initiative

The California GROWs (CalGrows) initiative is CDA’s Direct Care Workforce Training and Stipends Program that will incentivize, support, and fund career pathways for the Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) workforce (non-IHSS). CalGrows seeks to provide the foundation for many positive outcomes in HCBS, including increased skills, satisfaction, retention, and career development opportunities for direct care workers.

Program Components

CalGrows will include a multi-pronged approach to improving the skills and retention of the direct care workforce sector.

  • The CalGrows program leverages the IHSS Career Pathways Program, enabling CalGrows program participants access to the curriculum offered through the IHSS training pathways, including participation stipends.
  • The CalGrows Innovation Fund provided grants to fund novel approaches to training and retention. 76 organizations received funding to meet the specialized and culturally competent needs of California’s home and community-based Direct Care Workforce. The Innovation Fund totals approximately $89 million.

You can find a list of free courses offered through the CalGrows program at

Target Population

The target population includes non-IHSS direct care workers who provide direct support to Medi-Cal recipients in the home and community, including home care aides, unlicensed social workers, personal care assistants, activities coordinators, care coordinators, community health workers, and transportation providers.

Program Timeline

The CalGrows program will run through September 30, 2024.

Previous Meeting Information:


For direct care worker questions regarding:

  • Program eligibility or course selection, please call 888-991-7234 or visit
  • Stipend payment or status of your application, please call 855-916-4091 or email

For CalGrows Innovation Fund grantees questions regarding: