New Guide Helps Family Caregiving Advocates Amplify State and Local Outreach

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The National Alliance for Caregiving releases a new guidebook to prepare caregiver advocates for state and local advocacy efforts. Topics include strategic planning and communications, sustainability, programs and evaluation, and advocacy work.

The National Alliance for Caregiving today released a new guidebook for family caregiving advocates, titled “Growing Your Coalition: What to Do After You’ve Planted the Seed.” The guidebook aims to support over 90 state and local caregiving coalitions in the U.S. as they amplify their state and local advocacy efforts.

“National policymakers have been slow to move forward on programs for family caregivers, including the stalled reauthorization of the Older Americans Act,” explained Gail Gibson Hunt, President and CEO of the National Alliance for Caregiving. “This is a moment for state advocates to create better, stronger programs and to build momentum on behalf of family caregivers.”

State and local caregiving coalitions have played a critical role in supporting family caregiving in recent years. For example, advocates in New Jersey worked with local leadership on the recently-enacted Care, Advise, Record and Enable (C.A.R.E.) Act which includes family caregivers in hospital discharge procedures. The California Caregiver Coalition has defended against funding cuts to the 11 state Caregiver Resource Centers. Other have focused efforts on protecting caregivers from employment discrimination, such as the work of advocates in Minnesota to include family caregivers under the state’s Human Rights Act.

“I’m excited about what this new guidebook can offer caregiver advocates,” said Carol DeGraw of United Way of Northern New Jersey Caregivers Coalition. “It provides a 'how-to road map' into what it takes to grow and sustain an effective, dynamic coalition.”

The guidebook is the second in a series offered by the National Alliance for Caregiving. Topics include strategic planning, strategic communications, advocacy, sustainability, and evaluation. The guidebook is free and can be downloaded at http://www.caregiving.org.

In addition, the Alliance supports the National Network of Caregiving Coalitions through an annual conference, free training webinars, technical assistance, and an informal peer-to-peer mentoring program. Advocates interested in joining the network should contact Ms. Whiting at gracewhiting(at)caregiving(dot)org.

About the National Alliance for Caregiving:
The National Alliance for Caregiving is a national, non-profit coalition focused on advancing family caregiving through research, innovation and advocacy. Through supporting public policy research, coalition building, and education, the Alliance has supported America’s nearly 66 million family caregivers since 1996.

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C. Grace Whiting
@NA4Caregiving
since: 10/2011
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