Community Resources for Independence (CRI is a nonprofit social service agency headquartered in Erie, Pennsylvania. In a recent interview on the Talk Erie – Joel Natalie Show with Carl Barry, the Executive Director of CRI.


Addressing the Challenges of Personal Assistant Services: Insights from Carl Berry with TalkErie

In a recent video interview, we had the privilege of speaking with Carl Berry, Executive Director for Community Resources for Independence, shedding light on the critical issues surrounding personal assistant services. This blog post provides a recap of the insightful conversation, highlighting key points and challenges faced in this field.


Key Points Discussed

  1. The Importance of Personal Assistant Services:
    • Carl emphasized the significance of providing support to individuals who need assistance with daily living tasks, enabling them to remain in their own homes and communities.
    • He stressed the importance of recognizing the value of personal assistant services in maintaining dignity and independence for individuals.
  2. Challenges in Funding and Reimbursement:
    • Carl highlighted the disparity in funding between nursing homes and in-home care services.
    • He discussed the lack of entitlement for in-home services, leading to constant battles for funding and inadequate resources for service providers.
    • Despite a significant increase in the budget for managed care companies, none of the additional funds were allocated to in-home care providers.
  3. Wage Disparities and Recruitment Challenges:
    • The conversation turned to the wage gap between personal care assistants and workers in other industries.
    • A study by the AARP revealed that caregivers in Pennsylvania earn significantly less compared to workers in retail or other sectors.
    • Carl emphasized the need for wage parity and structural changes to attract and retain qualified caregivers.
  4. Advocacy Efforts and Policy Change:
    • Carl discussed his ongoing advocacy efforts to address the structural issues in funding and reimbursement for personal assistant services.
    • He highlighted the importance of bipartisan support and collaboration in effecting meaningful policy changes.
    • There is optimism among legislators for addressing these challenges and implementing structural reforms to ensure equitable funding and support for in-home care providers.

The conversation with Carl Berry provided valuable insights into the challenges faced by in-home care providers and the critical importance of addressing these issues. As advocates continue to push for policy changes and structural reforms, there is hope for a more equitable and sustainable system that supports both caregivers and the individuals they serve.

Join the CRI Team

If you’re interested in joining the CRI team, you can find job postings on our Careers Page. By becoming a part of CRI, you’ll be part of a community of individuals dedicated to making a positive impact on the lives of those in need.

Community Resources for Independence is not just an organization; it’s a beacon of hope for individuals with disabilities, providing them with the support and care they need to lead fulfilling lives. If you’re looking for a career that allows you to make a difference, CRI might be the place where your passion and purpose intersect.