Underserved Families Workgroup

DESCRIPTION OF THE WORKGROUP:  This workgroup consists of individuals working together in a collaborative nature with a focus on improving support for Underserved Families as identified families of color and other underserved populations.  While services and resources are available to families and caregivers in Wisconsin, underserved families frequently experience barriers to accessing typical caregiver support. Policy Brief - Underserved Populations 


THE GOAL: Increase outreach and engagement with all Underserved Populations.


Definition of Underserved Populations
When referring to Underserved Populations, the recent National Family Caregiver Strategy identified the following as Underserved:
  • American Indian/Alaska Native/Native caregivers may not identify as such because honoring elders is so deeply embedded in their cultures. As a result, they may not seek assistance when they need it
  • Asian American and Pacific Islander caregivers represent over 50 unique ethnicities and 100 different languages, many of which have differing perspectives on caregiving
  • Black and African American caregivers provide more intensive care, over more time than White caregivers and contributing to greater negative financial consequences
  • Children who provide care to parents, grandparents, and siblings miss school and social/developmental opportunities, but there are few programs or resources that acknowledge the kind of caregiving they provide
  • Hispanic/Latino caregivers are more likely to be the sole caregivers for their loved ones placing them at risk of isolation and mental health strain
  • Kin and grandparent caregivers open their arms and homes to children who cannot stay with their parents, yet, despite their age and limited resources, few have access to financial assistance
  • LGBTQIA+ caregivers are more likely to become caregivers at a younger age and across multiple situations (parents, siblings, partners, & friends), increasing their risks of long-term financial challenges, social isolation, and burnout
WFACSA also recognizes the following populations as Underserved as well:
  • Adult Siblings
  • Rural Families



2023 Workplan Activity:  Create partnerships with key agencies that serve underserved populations to build trusted relationships, and improve access to opportunities for advocacy to better meet the needs of families of color and other underserved populations.  Specific activities include:


  • Review the National Family Caregiver Support Strategy for Grandparents/Relatives as Caregivers
  • Leads the work on National Family Caregiver Month 




Early in 2020 the Wisconsin Family and Caregiver Support Alliance collaborated with seven statewide family organizations to survey more than 300 families for their opinions on the possible use of Family Navigators within Wisconsin’s Children’s Long-Term Support system.   Read the final report here.



If you are interested in learning more about the workgroup, please get in touch with the co-chairs:


Rachel Watkins-Petersen at rwatkins-petersen@respitecarewi.org  or TBD.