States are the largest public payers for long-term services and supports, and family caregivers are their crucial partners. Across the country, states have launched initiatives that assist family caregivers by addressing their diverse needs. In part to support states in developing these initiatives, the National Academy for State Health Policy (NASHP) launched the RAISE Family Caregiver Resource and Dissemination Center, with generous support from The John A. Hartford Foundation, in league with the US Administration for Community Living (ACL).
In late November, NASHP staff highlighted some of these innovative state policy efforts before the Maryland General Assembly’s Joint Committee on Children, Youth, and Families. In addition to highlighting several state initiatives featured in the NASHP blog State Policy Innovations to Support Family Caregivers, NASHP staff highlighted these innovative state programs before Maryland legislators:
- Virginia’s No Wrong Door initiative;
- Wisconsin’s Aging and Disability Resource Center;
- Tennessee’s TennCare Family Caregiver Assessment protocol;
- South Carolina’s Health Connections Prime Assessments and Quality Initiative;
- California’s Family Caregiver Resource Center; and
- North Dakota’s Service Payment for Elderly and Disabled Program.
These state policy initiatives, as well as policy barriers, are important for consideration by the Recognize, Assist, Include, Support, and Engage (RAISE) Family Caregiving Advisory Council, which was recently created under the ACL and charged with creating a national family caregiver report and strategy.
ACL’s Request for Information
To learn more about challenges, opportunities, and recommendations to better support family caregivers, the ACL will gather information to inform the council’s actions. To assist them, NASHP is asking state policymakers and other stakeholders to respond to ACL’s Request for Information (RFI), which is scheduled to be published on NASHP’s website later this week.
In 2020, the council will be conducting a series of listening sessions. Based on the responses from the RFI, staff and the council will identify the participants and content of the listening sessions. State officials are encouraged to share their valuable insights into policy impediments and solutions.
The information gathered during the RFI process will help inform the council as it prepares a national family caregiving report for the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, which will include recommendations to improve family caregiver support. Based on this report, the council and the Secretary will craft the country’s first national family caregiver strategy. State policymakers are an essential partner in this effort and will add a critical component to the national family caregiver strategy.
November Is National Family Caregivers Month
As many family members gather to celebrate Thanksgiving, November is a particularly good time to thank the estimated 40 million caregivers who care for family members, friends, and neighbors.
NASHP extends its gratitude to state policymakers for all of their hard work and to the families across the county who provide the vast majority of care for the nation’s older adults and people with disabilities.