Through the national initiative Helping States Support Families Caring for an Aging America, the Center for Health Care Strategies (CHCS) is working with states committed to strengthening policies or programs to support family caregivers and address the challenges of an aging population. In this initiative, cross-sector state teams — comprised of state and private organizations, including Medicaid, Departments of Aging and Health and Human Services, Area Agencies on Aging, universities, health plans, and community-based organizations — are partnering in new ways to prioritize and advance family caregiving programs.

  • In Phase I (2018-2020), CHCS worked with six states — Alabama, Idaho, Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Virginia — to advance family caregiving policy and program changes through support from The John A. Hartford Foundation, the Milbank Memorial Fund, the May & Stanley Smith Charitable Trust, and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.
  • In Phase II (2020-2022), CHCS worked with eight states — Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Tennessee, Texas, and Washington — to develop and/or enhance existing strategies to assist family caregivers with support from The John A. Hartford Foundation and the Michigan Health Endowment Fund. Focus areas included:
    • Strengthening family caregivers’ capacity, including, for example, through use of new technologies, increased access to respite care, and formal training for family caregivers;
    • Establishing robust data collection strategies to enhance programs or inform policies to support family caregivers (e.g., family caregiver needs assessments, surveys of program effectiveness); and
    • Building formal cross-sector partnerships (e.g., across aging, housing, transportation, health plans, etc.) in a deliberate and strategic way to better support family caregivers’ needs.

The state teams participated in individual technical assistance calls, peer-to-peer “learning lab” webinars, and virtual “hang outs” to learn from peers and other experts and implement new strategies to support family caregivers. CHCS also distilled lessons from the states’ efforts, which were shared broadly with stakeholders across the country to spur other states to support caregivers within their own communities. Resources can be found below.