WHEREAS, the care and provision of services to the elderly, children and people with disabilities is of vital importance to the State of Missouri; and

WHEREAS, this administration strives to ensure that the elderly, children and people with disabilities of the State of Missouri have proper care; and

WHEREAS, the ability to recruit and retain qualified staff to serve as caregivers to the elderly, children and people with disabilities has become increasingly difficult and;

WHEREAS, to effectively assess the issue of sustaining an adequate workforce to care for Missouri's elderly, children and people with disabilities it is desirable that more detailed information be collected and organized, that strategies be developed to address this issue and that a plan be developed to increase the number of qualified staff.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Mel Carnahan, Governor of the State of Missouri, by the virtue of the powers vested in me through the Constitution and the laws of Missouri, do hereby establish the Caregivers Workforce Task Force:

  1. The Task Force shall consist of the Directors, or their designees, of the Department of Labor & Industrial Relations, the Department of Social Services, the Department of Mental Health, the Department of Health and the Department of Economic Development. The Director, or his designee, of the Department of Social Services shall serve as the Task Force chairperson. 
  2. The Task Force chairperson shall designate such additional members representing the nursing home industry, the in-home care provider industry, child care industry, and organizations or groups that advocate on behalf of children, the elderly and people with disabilities as are necessary for the task force to complete its work.
  3. The Task Force members shall serve at the pleasure of the Governor and shall receive no compensation for duties performed, but may be reimbursed for actual and necessary expenses incurred as a result of their participation on the Task Force. Such expenses shall be paid from the operating appropriations of the five member agencies.
  4. The Task Force shall engage in the following activities:
    1. Conduct a survey to determine the average level of staff-to-resident/child/client ratios in nursing homes, skilled care facilities, or child care facilities; 
    2. Examine turnover rates, qualifications and salary rates of in-home care providers and of caregivers working in nursing homes, skilled care facilities and child care facilities;
    3. Identify the specific barriers to the recruitment and retention of caregivers;
    4. Examine the potential costs and benefits of establishing minimum staffing levels for nursing homes and other facilities that serve the specified populations;
    5. Hold public hearings for the purpose of collecting data;
    6. Identify and evaluate existing federal, state and local programs that address problems and solutions relevant to the Task Force's targeted areas of study; and
    7. Develop strategies to address the issue of recruitment and retention of caregivers.

FURTHER, the Task Force shall submit a written report of its findings and a proposed plan for increasing the number of qualified caregivers to the Governor by December 31, 2000.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused to be affixed the Great Seal of the State of Missouri, in the City of Jefferson, on this 31st day of January, 2000.

[Mel Carnahan's signature]



[Rebecca McDowell Cook's signature]

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