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HHS Announces New Grants To Support Family Caregivers

HHS Secretary Tommy G. Thompson today announced the award of approximately $6 million for 34 projects to develop innovative approaches to assist families and informal caregivers of older persons....

HHS Secretary Tommy G. Thompson today announced the award of approximately $6 million for 34 projects to develop innovative approaches to assist families and informal caregivers of older persons, as well as grandparents and older relatives who are caregivers of children.

"When older persons need care, it is often family members who provide that support," Secretary Thompson said. "Caregiving is a daunting task which exacts a heavy emotional, physical and financial toll. These innovative grants will help us learn the best ways to relieve families of some of this burden."

The grants will enable the Administration on Aging (AoA) to measure the effectiveness of the broad range of systems of caregiver services established through the new National Family Caregiver Support Program (NFCSP) launched earlier this year. The program will offer families access to information, respite care, counseling, training and supplemental services to help them meet their real life caregiving challenges.

"Those who are closest to the issues, at the state and local levels, are often the most likely to have some of the best solutions and ideas," HHS Assistant Secretary for Aging Josefina G. Carbonell said. "We will work together to assure that this vitally important and critically needed new program meets the expectations of the families we serve, and that it fits the unique and diverse needs of communities across America."

Grants were awarded to state and area agencies on aging, nonprofit community service providers, institutions of higher learning and national organizations with demonstrated expertise in aging and caregiving issues. The five priority areas that grantees will focus on are:

Systems development; Service components; Linkages to special populations and communities; Field initiated demonstrations to develop and test new approaches to support caregivers; and National projects that enhance the development of caregiver programs.

These innovative grants are one component of the new National Family Caregiver Support Program established as part of the Older Americans Act. Other components include formula grants to states that were distributed in February 2001, and the Native American Caregiver Support Program grants that were awarded to tribal organizations in September 2001.

The complete list of the Innovative Caregiver Support Program grantees and their awards is available on the AoA Web site at: http://www.aoa.gov/pressroom/pr2001/innovativecare.html.

For more information on the National Family Caregiver Support Program, call the AoA Office of Program Development at (202) 619-0011.