Family Caregiver Alliance’s staff has a tradition of looking ahead–not only reacting quickly to provide information and services that caregivers and professionals tell us they need, but also brainstorming to create and establish new, in-novative programs to sustain and support family caregivers.
Recently, FCA staff met for a half-day planning session and took a few moments to reflect on the last few months. We thought our readers would be interested in learning what FCA has accomplished during the past year.
Many of you are familiar with our local family services program that serves six San Francisco Bay Area counties. Our staff has been extremely busy. In the past year, there has been a 117% increase in first-time callers: a 98% increase in the number of families we have served, including a 41% increase in the number of clients receiving at least one service from us; 57% more receiving family consultations; 72% more reassessments; and 115% more people enrolling in our psycho-educational classes. We have increased the number and variety of educational programs we offer, as well as collaboration with other local agencies to cosponsor events and provide outreach.
Link2Care, an online information and support system for caregivers in California increased its enrollment by 135% during the past year, to over 700 family caregivers. Last Spring, our Statewide Program worked with California’s Caregiver Resource Center system and AARP to cosponsor the successful "Caring Counts!" conference in Sacramento. More than 400 caregivers and professionals attended the two-day event.
FCA’s National Center on Caregiving, established two years ago, continues to identify, develop and disseminate information of interest to caregivers, policymakers, media and business leaders through its e-bulletin, Caregiving Policy Digest, and through six "Best Practice" monographs, three Policy Briefs and five new Fact Sheets. (All of these publications are available on FCA’s website.)
The NCC also published three journal articles and has others in progress. Staff continues the research and data analysis for a survey of caregiver support programs across the country, scheduled for publication in the Fall of 2004. In addition to the NCC’s work, FCA staff produced our new website, our award-winning newsletter (also available in Spanish as Al Día), and many other Fact Sheets, some translated into Chinese and Spanish. Staff also responded to a a wide variety of inquiries from local and national media on caregiving issues and trends.
While numbers tell one part of the story, caregivers who have used our services say it best: "Words cannot express how much I appreciate your wonderful counsel and support these past few year," writes one of our clients. "Your advice was invaluable and made a very trying situation so much more manageable….God bless you, your organization and the wonderful, compassionate service you provide!"
FCA, like most nonprofit organizations, has limited resources. We are proud of the scope of work we are able to accomplish with our dedicated staff, who have perfected the art of "doing more with less." However, there are limits to what can be accomplished with ever-shrinking resources and the decreasing value that is given to community programs when painful cuts must be made in state budgets and foundation and corporate giving.
We hope that you, too, will look back at what FCA has meant to you over the past year. Please consider making a donation to FCA at year-end by clicking here, responding to our annual appeal letter, or donating via our website. We look forward to an exciting new year of innovation and challenges.
Thank you, and the FCA Board and Staff extend our Best Wishes for a peaceful holiday season, both in your home and throughout the world.
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