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A Comparison of University and Minimum Curriculum Requirements for Japan's Certified Care Worker License

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This paper compares Japan's university and non-university curriculums for the certified care worker license, and discusses the possibility that the universities' focus on social work education for care workers may result in improving the quality of the workforce and thus the quality of life of older persons in Japan. The demand for professional care workers in Japan is increasing along with demographic changes. In Japan, approximately one-third of direct care workers are nationally licensed as certified care workers (Kaigo-Fukushi-Shi); the rest are unlicensed or are licensed as home helper level 1 or level 2, which licenses are not nationally certified. Most training facilities for certified care workers offer two-year programs, which is the minimum duration of study required by the national Regulations for Designated Training Facilities for Certified Social Workers and Certified Care Workers. Recently, however, an increasing number of universities have begun providing a four-year education for certified care workers. We surveyed 20 four-year universities to compare their curriculums, especially in the area of social work education, with the curriculums of two-year care worker training programs. The universities provided twice as many hours of social work education as did the two-year training courses.
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Keywords: Certified Care Worker; Curriculum; Higher Education; Japan; Social Work Education

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: The University of Tokyo, Japan

Publication date: April 1, 2012

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