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Help your caregivers engage better the with older adults in their care with this FREE grant-funded training!

This grant-funded virtual training program is designed to arm your caregivers with a unique set of non-clinical skills, empowering them to foster deeper connections with the older adults in their care.

Training is FREE for Colorado HCBS Agency Staff

With special thanks to the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing, this training is available to Colorado HCBS Agency Staff at no cost.

Staffing Expense Reimbursement Available to Your Agency

Through this grant program, backfill reimbursement will be available up to $135 per staff member that completes the training program!

No Travel Required for Your Staff to Participate—Training is Virtual

Our virtual skills training is led by a live, licensed clinical instructor to guide the staff in both group learning and peer-to-peer discussions


Key Skills Your Team will Master with Our Training

The Engage with® Skills Training Program is designed to provide your staff with a comprehensive skill set that elevates their caregiving abilities, making them not only professionals in their field but compassionate allies to the older adults they serve. 

Here's what your team will get from this immersive virtual training experience:

Exhibiting Respect

This is all about understanding the unique life experiences and perspectives of older adults. Your team will learn how to demonstrate respect that makes the individuals they're caring for feel seen, heard, and valued.

Overcoming Age-related Stigma

Too often, ageism and stereotypes can cloud judgement and impede connection. This training will equip your staff with tools to see beyond societal preconceptions, focusing on the individual behind the age.

The Power of Listening

Often underestimated, active listening is a game-changer in caregiving. Your staff will learn to listen deeply, ensuring that the perspectives, expectations, and needs of older adults are affirmed and addressed.

Beyond Words

Non-verbal communication is a powerful tool, and understanding it can significantly improve your staff's connection with older adults. They will learn to pick up on non-verbal cues, adding another layer of understanding and empathy to their caregiving.

Expression with Understanding

Your team will learn how to communicate verbally in a way that's both empathetic and respectful. They will ensure that their language enhances the comfort and wellbeing of the older adults they care for.

Meaningful Interactions

Caregiving should not be a mundane task, but a series of meaningful interactions. Your staff will learn to engage in ways that enrich the lives of older adults, turning everyday moments into opportunities for joy and connection.

Recognizing Suicide Risk Factors

Caregiving also requires vigilance in ensuring the safety of older adults. Your team will learn how to identify potential warning signs of suicide and provide the necessary support.

Keeping the Peace

Maintaining a calm and positive environment is crucial. The training will equip your staff with non-medication techniques to de-escalate challenging situations, ensuring a peaceful atmosphere for everyone.

What participants say about this program...

"This program is for all who work in healthcare no matter the job description, at any given moment we may find ourselves in a care position, so the skills here are useful.


I appreciated the real-life scenarios.


I am glad that I was able to experience this skills program. I feel it will help me communicate more effectively.


I would strongly recommend this for all disciplines.

Social Worker

Very educational


By the end of the program, your staff will have a deeper understanding of older adults and master key skills, from demonstrating respect to managing tense situations effectively.

Complete the Online Application to Apply

Let us know you are interested

To be considered for this Program, complete the interest form below

The Mental Health Association of Maryland has been funded by the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy & Financing to deliver Engage with® Older Adults at home, a live, virtual skills training program for home health workers and care providers serving older adults in the State of Colorado. The funding includes:

  1. The Engage with® Older Adults at home four-hour “Core Skills” training for HCBS employees of aging services agencies working in the state of Colorado.
  2. Reimbursement to employers for up to 4½ hours of the payroll costs associated with backfill for their employees to attend the live skills training, up to a maximum of $135 per employee.

Program Training Schedule

The Engage with® Skills Training Program’s Core Skills Training is delivered in two 2-hour sessions. For this grant program training, below are the dates that your staff can participate in the Part I & II training sessions. 

Part I

  • Wed. May 1, 2024 12:45 – 3:00pm MT
  • Sat. May 4, 2024 9:00 – 11:15am MT
  • Mon. May 6, 2024 9:00 – 11:15am MT
  • Fri. May 10, 2024 12:45 – 3:00pm MT
  • Wed. June 5, 2024 11:00 – 1:15pm MT
  • Wed. June 12, 2024 12:45 – 3:00pm MT

Part II

  • Thur. May 2, 2024 12:45 – 3:00pm MT
  • Mon. May 13, 2024 9:00 – 11:15am MT
  • Fri. May 17, 2024 12:45 – 3:00pm MT
  • Sat. May 18, 2024 9:00 -11:15am MT
  • Thur. June 6, 2024 11:00 – 1:15pm MT
  • Tue. June 18, 2024 12:45 – 3:00pm MT

The Colorado Department of Health Care Policy & Financing Grant , funded through the American Rescue Plan Act, makes this training possible


The Colorado Department of Health Care Policy & Financing Grant , funded through the American Rescue Plan Act, makes this training possible

Engage with® Skills Training Programs, a national non-profit initiative, of the Mental Health Association of Maryland, was recently awarded a grant from the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing to provide evidence-based skills training at no cost to Health and Community Based Services (HCBS) agency staff throughout the State of Colorado. This funding allows us to offer our live, virtual, skills training program to HCBS agency staff serving older adults aging in place in the State of Colorado free of any charges or fees. In addition, the grant provides for backfill reimbursement for HCBS agency staff who complete the training (up to $90 per participant).

This opportunity is available to all HCBS registered agencies  (collectively referred to hereafter as “HCBS Agencies”). HCBS Agencies must serve older adults residing within the State of Colorado to be eligible.

There is no minimum number of staff organizations must commit to in order to be eligible for the training, but space under the grant is limited and is offered to participants on a first come, first served basis (maximum of 100 participants per organization).  The Core Skills training will be offered multiple times during January – June. (Attendees must complete Part 1 before Part 2. These training sessions will be offered at various times and on various days throughout the month).

In order to ensure that staff are able to attend the training, and are compensated for their time, the grant also covers backfill reimbursement for staff participating in the training program. Backfill pay reimbursement will be issued based on actual attendance and successful completion of both Part 1 and Part 2 of the Core Skills at home training program.

Staff/backfill pay will be reimbursed directly to the HCBS Agency within 45 days following the completion of the training period. Engage with will provide a final attendance report and report of estimated backfill reimbursement pay. The regular rate of pay provided for each participating staff member at the start of the training program will be used to make the backfill calculation, to a maximum of $90 per employee.

For the HCBS Agency to receive backfill pay reimbursement the following criteria must be met:

  1.  Participating staff must be on payroll at the time they attend both Core Skills Part 1 and Core Skills Part 2.
  2. Reimbursement of up to $90 per employee will only be provided for employees who complete both Core Skills Part 1 and Core Skills Part 2 of the 4-hour training and who complete the brief evaluation embedded at the end of Core Skills Part 2.
  3. Payroll documentation for wage reimbursement for participating staff must be submitted to receive reimbursement. 

Reimbursement will not be offered for those employees who:

  • Fail to register for any Core Skills Training Part 1 and Core Skills Training Part 2 offered, or
  • Register for, but do not attend and/or complete either or both Core Skills Part 1 and Core Skills Part 2, or
  • Fail to complete the evaluation embedded at the end of Core Skills Part 2.

Engage with Skills Trainings are delivered by a certified training with experience in mental health l in real time through an online, virtual training platform. This format allows for participants in geographically diverse areas to join the same training and interact and learn from each other. Participants can join from any location as long as they have an internet connected laptop, desktop computer or tablet with external keyboard and speakers (headset preferred).

Participants will be joining classes with staff from other agencies throughout the State of Colorado. Classes will be restricted in size to 30 maximum participants to allow for the best learning experience. Classes are held on a specified schedule; therefore, participants must join their assigned class at the time that it is scheduled or request to reschedule their class. Participants may choose a class that best fits their schedule.  Classes will not be recorded and thus registrants who fail to attend their scheduled training in real time can not make up the class by viewing a recording. The Core Skills Part 1 and Core Skills Part 2 classes will be offered at a variety of times and days throughout the weeks of the training period.

Participants will need to register for and complete one Core Part 1 and one Core Part 2 class as well as the brief training evaluation in order to complete the Core Skills training program, and for their employers to be eligible for wage reimbursement.

Upon successful completion of the entire 4-hour training participants will receive an Engage with® Core Skills Certification certificate (PDF), a Student Summary and Reference Guide (PDF), and a link to the “Demonstrating Respect” game they were introduced to during the training.  All of this will be sent via email to the email address provided during registration. All relevant information is provided post-training to help reinforce the content and allow participants to focus on the training itself in real time, without the need to take notes.  

Participating HCBS Agencies will be responsible for designating a staff member to be the main point of contact for supporting training program operations including but not limited to coordination of registration, sharing communications around expectations, maintaining accountability, and reviewing attendance throughout the training program.  This role will liaise directly with the Engage with Director of Customer Operations and/or Senior Director throughout the registration and training periods to ensure maximum participation and proper and timely reimbursement. 

Staff will be able to attend the virtual training while on or off-site as long as they have an internet connection capable of streaming a video and computer or laptop with a dedicated keyboard. To maximize the opportunity for participation, Engage with encourages participating HCBS agencies to utilize any available computer resources in the community. 

Interest Forms:

  • Interest forms will be accepted throughout the training period (January -June 2024)

Grant Process:

You will receive confirmation of your submission as well as a copy of your completed application form. Upon review, a member of the Engage with team will reach out with the next steps or questions regarding your application within 3 business days.

Accepted HCBS Agencies will be asked to sign and return a Training Agreement, generate a Registration and Backfill Worksheet and provide payroll documentation. Engage with will use this information to register participating staff for the appropriate trainings. 

A coordination call will be scheduled with the Engage with Director of Customer Operations and/or Training Director and the HCBS Agency’s main point of contact who may include any other relevant project participants.

Throughout the training program, a member of the Engage with staff will send updates on attendance and provide coordination support as needed.


Any questions regarding this application, training program or grant may be directed to training@engagewith.org.


Clinical Skills Alone Won't Cut It—Caregivers Need these Essential Core Skills

In an industry as essential and intimate as caregiving, clinical skills alone won’t cut it. While they are necessary for keeping our older adults physically healthy, they are only a part of the equation. The true essence of caregiving goes far beyond that—it’s about forging deep connections, understanding unsaid needs, and treating older adults with the respect and empathy they deserve.

4 Reasons Why Your Staff Will Benefit from this Training:

  • 1

    Empathy and Understanding

    It's not always easy for caregivers to put themselves in the shoes of the individuals they're caring for. This training will enhance their empathy, allowing them to better understand the feelings, perspectives, and challenges that older adults experience every day.

  • 2

    Communication Skills

    In caregiving, clear and compassionate communication is crucial. The ability to express thoughts and instructions clearly, to listen actively and respond with understanding, can greatly improve the caregiving experience for both parties.

  • 3

    Respect and Dignity

    The training will reinforce the importance of treating older adults with respect and dignity. It can help challenge any subconscious biases and teach caregivers to value each individual's unique life experiences.

  • 4

    Risk Recognition

    One of the most critical aspects of caregiving is ensuring the safety and wellbeing of the elderly. Training in recognizing suicide risk factors and de-escalating tense situations are vital skills for any caregiver.

In a nutshell, this training is not a luxury—it’s a necessity. Your staff will be equipped with skills that make a tangible difference in the lives of the older adults they serve. It’s about enhancing the quality of care, enriching the caregiving experience, and ultimately, making your caregiving agency the best it can be.



In a sea of countless training programs, the Engage with® Skills Training Program stands out—and here's why...

It’s an immersive, virtual learning experience that participants access from the comfort of any device with an Internet connection

Unlike traditional skills training programs, our evidence-based program is delivered to you virtually by a Licensed Clinical Instructor.


“Traveling throughout the different rooms and scenarios kept the training fun and interactive.”

Jenni, Program Participant

Personalize your avatar as you immerse yourself in the virtual learning world of Engage with®

Explore the virtual learning world and engage with peers and live, certified instructors using an avatar that's unique personalized to you. This experience is truly immersive and unlike anything you've ever experienced before!

Participants Connect & Learn Alongside Peers that are Experiencing Similar Challenges

With the Engage with® Skills Training Program, participants are transported into a virtual training world where they can connect and learn alongside of their peers who are experiencing similar challenges.


“Thank you for teaching me skills that are used in ALL of my relationships and interactions.”

Aniyah, Program Participant


Take a Tour of our Virtual Training World

Provide your staff with an evidence-based workforce skills training that's been proven to reduce staff turnover by up to 40% in long-term care centers.

Apply Now for this Grant Funded Skills Training Program

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