Advanced Home Care Aide Specialist Training

Abbreviations used in this document

  • DSHS:  Washington State Department of Social and Health Services.
  • ALTSA:  Aging and Long Term Support Administration.  A branch of DSHS.
  • HCS:  Home and Community Services.  A branch of ALTSA.
  • DDA:  Developmental Disabilities Administration.  A branch of DSHS.
  • SEIU 775:  Service Employees International Union 775.  They manage Individual Providers. 
  • AHCAS:  Advanced Home Care Aide Specialist.  The training program this page is about.
  • TP:  The Training Partnership.  They manage training for Individual Providers.
  • IPs:  Individual Providers.  Caregivers, managed by SEIU 775, and working in someone’s home.
  • HCA:  Home Care Aide.  When caregivers complete 75 hours of basic training and pass the associated exam, they are certified as HCAs.

What is this program all about?

DSHS, SEIU, and the Training Partnership have worked together to create a training program named AHCAS.  AHCAS is a 70-hour advanced skills training.  Eligible Individual Providers (caregivers) can take this training to:

  • Learn new, advanced skills
  • Add value to their resume
  • Increase their hourly pay
  • Provide high quality, person centered care to those they support

What should a DSHS client know about AHCAS Training?

How can I benefit from my caregiver attending this training?

  • You will receive person-centered care from a caregiver with advanced skills.   
  • You and your caregiver will spend time exploring what is important to you.  Your caregiver will introduce new ways for the two of you to work together. 
  • Your relationship with your caregiver might improve.  Your caregiver will learn relationship building skills.  Your caregiver might be motivated by the opportunity to improve their skills and earn better pay.     

What will my caregiver learn? 

  • The person-centered approach to care. A person-centered approach to caregiving treats each person as an individual with unique needs, values and preferences.
  • How to work with you to solve problems.
  • How to support you through medication management.  For example, they will learn techniques for tracking and organizing medications.
  • How to support you as you watch and report changes to your health.
  • How to work with treatment and care plans.
  • Motivational interviewing techniques that will help them provide encouraging, non-judgmental support.
  • Healthy ways to cope with difficult or tense situations. For example, they will practice attending and listening skills.  They will learn to respond logically rather than react emotionally.
  • How to assist you to become more involved in your healthcare.
  • How to practice healthy ways to care for themselves.

How will I know if my caregiver is eligible for this training?

If your caregiver is eligible for AHCAS training, they will receive an email from the Training Partnership.  Alternatively, they can contact the Training Partnership’s Member Resource Center to determine their eligibility.  They can also log into their portal to determine AHCAS eligibility.  If they are interested in taking the training, they will speak with you about the opportunity.  You in turn can speak with your Case Manager if you are interested in learning more. 

Who can I contact for more information?

Feel free to discuss this opportunity with your caregiver and case manager.  If you would like to speak directly with the AHCAS Program Manager you can email

 When would my caregiver go to class, and how long will it be?

Your caregiver will contact the Training Partnership to learn training locations and dates.  He or she should discuss those dates with you.  If your caregiver enrolls in training, he or she will attend about 8 classes.  They will usually attend one class a week for 8 weeks. Speak with your caregiver and/or your case manager about how to manage your care during those times.

What should an interested Individual Provider know?

We want to invest in you! And we think that investment will benefit DSHS care receivers. Visit the Training Partnership AHCAS site for more information.

To determine your eligibility, please call the Member Resource Center at 1-866-371-3200.  They are open Monday through Friday, 8am to 4:30pm.

You will be paid for time spent training.  When you successfully finish training and pass the skill tests you will receive a pay increase.  You will earn an additional $.75 (seventy-five cents) per hour for each client you work for from that point on. 

What should Case Managers know?

We understand the amount of work you do and want to make AHCAS as easy as possible!  Please feel free to contact the ALTSA Training Development & Learning Management unit manager at