Wisconsin Family & Caregiver Support Alliance holds 3rd annual Caregiver Summit

Last Thursday, September 5, 50 family caregiver advocates and experts from across the state gathered in Madison to discuss the needs of families and caregivers.  The group heard the results of the statewide caregiver survey, learned about the Governor's Task Force on Caregiving, and listened to a panel of employers who have prioritized supporting their employees who are also caregivers.   The event provided attendees a chance to give ideas about how to increase support for families and caregivers in Wisconsin which will be shared with the Task Force at their first meeting in September. The following materials presented at the Summit.

 

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 19, 2019

Family Caregivers Celebrate Creation of WI Task Force on Caregiving Issues

 

Members of the Wisconsin Family and Caregiver Support Alliance (WFACSA) celebrate the creation of the Governor’s Task Force on Caregiving through Executive Order #11 issued on February 19, 2019. The full Executive Order can be found here:  Governor's Task Force on Caregiving Executive Order.  Read the WFACSA press release about the task force here: Task Force on Caregiving Press Release.

 

If you are interested in applying for the Governor’s Task Force on Caregiving, send a cover letter and resume to: govappointments@wisconsin.gov

  

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 15, 2019

Wisconsin Employers Report the Impacts of Caregiving while
State Recognizes National Caregivers Day

 

Madison, WI - The Wisconsin Family and Caregiver Support Alliance is releasing the results of its new statewide employer survey to recognize February 15 as National Caregivers Day. See the full summary of the results here:  Employer Survey Summary
National Caregivers Day is observed annually on the third Friday in February, recognizing the careproviders, both paid and unpaid, who provide personal cares of all types to people with disabilities, older adults and other family members and friends who require support to remain healthy and living in their homes and communities.
It is estimated that in Wisconsin, 549,000 caregivers are providing 588,000 million hours of care to loved ones annually, valued at nearly $6 billion dollars.
Employers recently confirmed the impact of caregiving on the Wisconsin workforce in a survey sponsored by WFACSA and released this month.  Read full News Release here:  National Caregivers Day Press Release.

 

Wisconsin Health News: November 19, 2018

Alliance aims to support family caregiving in the state

 

“Caregiving is going to be a very big issue in the near future,” said Lynn Gall, family caregiver program coordinator at the Department of Health Services and co-chair of the alliance.

Lisa Pugh, director of the Arc Wisconsin and co-chair of the alliance, said organizations involved in the group were previously working in “silos on the aging side, silos on the disability side.” Together, they’ve been able to identify caregiver issues across the populations.

“There are really great resources in both arenas that we really should be sharing,” she said.
 
The alliance isn’t a lobbying organization, but it's looking at how to inform policymakers about changes that could support caregivers.

For example, the alliance had been exploring exceptions to background checks and professional credentials to help caregivers hire family members or other workers they want.

Other policy fields they’re looking into include upping wages for caregivers, increasing respite care funding, paid family and medical leave, creating a registry connecting families to workers in their area and a tax credit for family caregivers.

Pugh added that Wisconsin also hasn’t “really accessed” federal funds for respite care in the same way that other states have and has a less "complete infrastructure" in terms of respite care.

The alliance is also surveying employers on how family caregiving has impacted their business. So far, they’ve heard from around 200 employers, who reported that caregiving has increased emotional stress, led to work schedule changes, requests for personal time off or reduced work hours.

“We want to engage employers as being partners and finding solutions,” Gall said.“Caregiving is going to be a very big issue in the near future,” said Lynn Gall, family caregiver program coordinator at the Department of Health Services and co-chair of the alliance.

Lisa Pugh, director of the Arc Wisconsin and co-chair of the alliance, said organizations involved in the group were previously working in “silos on the aging side, silos on the disability side.” Together, they’ve been able to identify caregiver issues across the populations.

“There are really great resources in both arenas that we really should be sharing,” she said.
 
The alliance isn’t a lobbying organization, but it's looking at how to inform policymakers about changes that could support caregivers.

For example, the alliance had been exploring exceptions to background checks and professional credentials to help caregivers hire family members or other workers they want.

Other policy fields they’re looking into include upping wages for caregivers, increasing respite care funding, paid family and medical leave, creating a registry connecting families to workers in their area and a tax credit for family caregivers.

Pugh added that Wisconsin also hasn’t “really accessed” federal funds for respite care in the same way that other states have and has a less "complete infrastructure" in terms of respite care.

The alliance is also surveying employers on how family caregiving has impacted their business. So far, they’ve heard from around 200 employers, who reported that caregiving has increased emotional stress, led to work schedule changes, requests for personal time off or reduced work hours.

“We want to engage employers as being partners and finding solutions,” Gall said.