ACL will swear in new members of the RAISE Family Caregiving Advisory Council and the Advisory Council to Support Grandparents Raising Grandchildren.
Thursday, July 27, 2023 | 2:00-4:30 PM ET
Join ACL today as Acting ACL Administrator Alison Barkoff swears in the new members of the two advisory councils created by Congress to improve support for family caregivers. The joint council meeting will be streamed live starting at 1:55 PM ET.
The advisory councils were established by the Recognize, Assist, Include, Support, and Engage (RAISE) Family Caregivers Act and the Supporting Grandparents Raising Grandchildren (SGRG) Act. In their first terms (2019-2022), the councils laid the foundation for the work ahead. Working with federal partners, they established a common vocabulary and a shared vision and developed the 2022 National Strategy to Support Family Caregivers.
Over the next three years, the new advisory council members will build upon this work. They will gather and review information about the real-life situations of caregivers and the promising practices to help support them and the people they care for, advise ACL and its partners across the federal government on caregiving issues, and promote and track implementation of the 2022 National Strategy. In addition, they will develop the first update to the Strategy, which will be delivered late next year.
The new advisory council members represent the full diversity of family caregivers, people who receive support, and professionals who provide home and community-based services. Each new member is an expert on family caregiving through lived experience or their professional background — often both. Specifically:
- The RAISE advisory council members include multiple caregivers of older adults and people with disabilities; a person with a disability who receives caregiver support; a veteran; an employer; a paraprofessional who works closely with people with disabilities; state and local officials; a representative of a health care accrediting organization; and professionals in the fields of health care, social services, and long-term services and supports.
- The SGRG advisory council members include an older adult raising a relative child, a grandparent raising multiple grandchildren, an adult who was raised by a grandmother, a person impacted by the opioid epidemic, and recognized experts from a wide range of disciplines that support kin and grandparent-led families, including researchers.
- Both advisory councils include tribal members as well as professionals who work directly with tribal communities.
ACL has made significant progress to implement the Strategy since it was delivered last fall. More than 600 comments were submitted during the formal 60-day public comment period that followed the release of the strategy in September 2022.
These comments have been analyzed in collaboration with the John A. Hartford Foundation-funded RAISE Act Family Caregiver Resource and Dissemination Center at the National Academy for State Health Policy. At their next meeting in September, the advisory councils will hear a report on these comments developed by researchers from Community Catalyst and the University of Massachusetts. The researchers also will present gaps, overlaps, and opportunities for collaboration identified through a separate analysis of the 345 federal actions in the 2022 National Strategy. (Recently, ACL convened the 15 federal agencies responsible for those commitments to begin documenting progress; an update will be shared at a later meeting.)
To fuel consistent progress across all five goals of the Strategy, this summer, ACL will award five new grants totaling $20 million in new funding. The grantees will provide technical assistance to ACL’s aging and tribal services networks to support uptake and implementation of the strategy. ACL also will launch a new technical assistance center that will coordinate the work of those five grants and share best practices for family caregiver support that could be implemented across the country. An important focus of the center’s work will be on advancing the adoption of family caregiver assessments, an initiative that was authorized in the 2020 reauthorization of the Older Americans Act.
In parallel, ACL is supporting Generations United as they continue to build the nation’s first National Technical Assistance Center for Kinship and Grandfamilies. This center is funded through the American Rescue Plan. It will help state, tribal, and territorial government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and kinship navigator programs work across differing systems and jurisdictions across the nation to better support kin and grandparent caregivers.
ACL also is working to address the ongoing direct care workforce crisis, which has a direct impact on family caregivers. A critical shortage of the professionals who provide home and community-based services has made it difficult for people to get services they need to live in the community. As a result, family caregivers are taking on even more — and more complex — caregiving responsibilities, and respite care for caregivers themselves is even harder to find. Last fall, ACL established the national Direct Care Workforce Strategies Center to improve recruitment, retention, and training of these critical professionals.
Each year, around 53 million people provide a broad range of assistance to support the health, quality of life, and independence of a person close to them who needs assistance as they age or due to a disability or chronic health condition. Another 2.7 million grandparent caregivers — and an unknown number of other relative caregivers — open their arms and homes each year to millions of children who cannot remain with their parents. This support is essential to ensuring that all people can live and participate fully in their communities, regardless of age, disability, or level of support need.
Learn more about the new members of the RAISE Family Caregiving Advisory Council and the Advisory Council to Support Grandparents Raising Grandchildren.
Save the Date: The next joint advisory council meeting will be held September 19, 2023, 12:30-4:30 PM ET. ACL will post additional information early in September.
The RAISE Family Caregiving Advisory Council — established by the Recognize, Assist, Include, Support, and Engage (RAISE) Family Caregivers Act — is charged with providing recommendations on effective models of family caregiving and support to family caregivers, as well as improving coordination across federal government programs.
The Advisory Council to Support Grandparents Raising Grandchildren is charged with identifying, promoting, coordinating, and disseminating to the public information, resources, and the best practices available to help grandparents and other older relatives both meet the needs of the children in their care and maintain their own physical and mental health and emotional well-being.