As we approach FCA's 25th anniversary, we have some very exciting news to share with you: The Archstone Foundation has awarded a three-year grant to Family Caregiver Alliance to establish the National Center on CaregivingSM.
The Center will build on our past work in the national long-term care arena, and comes in response to the proliferation of programs and services to support family and informal caregivers. The Center will expand our abilities to offer information and technical assistance to policy makers, aging and long-term care organizations, the media and family caregivers. The scheduled launch date is July 2001.
Specifically, the Center has four objectives:
- To develop and disseminate information about best practices at the state and national levels;
- To provide technical assistance to policy makers, business/foundation leaders and program developers on innovative caregiver support programs;
- To deliver high quality consumer information to caregivers; and
- To provide quality information for media seeking to cover caregiver issues.
In our dual role as model program and national advocate, FCA is in a unique position to meet these objectives. We have nearly 25 years of experience providing direct services to caregivers in the Bay Area, and we are the model for the 10 other Caregiver Resource Centers throughout California. The CRC system is, in turn, a model for the National Family Caregiver Support Program established through the Older Americans Act. We have long been recognized nationally as an information center on long-term care.
The National Center on Caregiving will continue the advocacy efforts so essential to our mission. Since our earliest years, when cofounder Anne Bashkiroff testified before then-First Lady Rosalynn Carter, we have focused on empowering caregivers with information, respite and emotional support, even as we educated the public, the media and policy makers on the needs of caregivers.
Our formidable portfolio of policy-focused conferences, applied research and national surveys, technical assistance, information technology applications and large-scale program replications and development will provide a strong basis for the new Center; our up-coming fall policy conference funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation will engage state policy makers on critical issues in long-term care.
We are very grateful to the Archstone Foundation for providing the initial funding to establish the National Center on Caregiving as a primary program of FCA. The Archstone Foundation is a private grantmaking organization whose mission is to contribute toward the preparation of society in meeting the needs of an aging population. Their resources are used to help all generations plan for the aging process and support programs addressing the needs of the elderly in three areas: healthy aging and independence; quality of life within institutional settings; and issues at the end of life.
This grant allows us to expand our staff and resources to continue to meet the ever-growing demand for information and assistance from caregivers and policy-makers. The Center will undertake the following major activities:
- Develop a National Advisory Committee of experts in the field;
- Create and distribute "best practice" information in print and electronic formats;
- Prepare and disseminate policy briefs on issues related to family caregiving (print and electronic formats);
- Provide customized technical assistance for program developers, policy-makers and others;
- Respond to telephone, mail and e-mail inquiries from family caregivers across the country;
- Provide expert spokespersons, statistics and background information for media;
- Upgrade the FCA website, which will be redesigned to feature new services and materials from the National Center on Caregiving.
Our services in California will continue, of course. But our role and outreach will expand. Indeed, we have a rather lofty goal for this program: we want no less than high quality, cost-effective, practical support programs available to caregivers in every state in the country.
We'll keep you posted on our progress!
Kathleen A. Kelly
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