The Arc Wisconsin received a small planning grant in 2017 to convene Wisconsin’s Family Support Coalition. Since the group’s initial convening at The Johnson Foundation at Wingspread in Racine, collaborators have formed what is now named The Wisconsin Family and Caregiver Support Alliance. Read our Six Month Progress Report.
The Wisconsin Family and Caregiver Support Alliance (WFACSA) will address the needs of families who provide care, improve resource coordination, increase access to family supports and sustain Wisconsin families into the future.
Our communities will be accepting places for people of all ages and abilities to live with the supports needed for the person, their families and caregivers. Our communities are stronger when we work together to support each other.
Our mission is to raise awareness of family and caregiver support needs and increase the availability of and access to services and supports (both paid and unpaid) which will keep people across the lifespan engaged in their community as long as they desire.
The Wisconsin Family and Caregiver Support Alliance has five primary goals:
- Increase Outreach and Awareness
Through purposeful outreach, the Alliance will raise awareness about the breadth of caregiving and family support needs in our state with the goal of improving understanding and acceptance and identifying solutions.
- Read our Proposal to Declare November Wisconsin Family Caregiver Awareness Month
- Promote Policy and Advocacy Efforts
The Alliance will inform public policy and engage in dialogue with policymakers and state agencies to advance solutions that result in the implementation of new, effective strategies.
- Improve Systems Navigation and Access
The Alliance will consult with a diverse group of families, caregivers and professionals to identify gaps in resources and service provision with the goal of leading to concrete improvementin access to essential supports, information and resources.
- Expand Family and Caregiver Support
The Alliance will expand the availability of supports for families and caregivers, in part by advancing collaboration and communication between aging and disability systems.
- Strengthen Community Support
Members of the Alliance will work in communities to promote better understanding of local challenges that prevent families from accessing quality care from paid and unpaid caregivers and to promote the societal value of supporting caregivers.
Along with the Steering Committee, members of the Alliance are working to achieve goals through the following workgroups:
- Expanding Respite Options & Providers Workgroup
Expand the availability of respite services to families who need it.
- System Navigation and Access Workgroup
Improve family access to necessary information and resources; Increase the level and quality of assistance families receive to coordinate services and navigate through the service system.
- See our survey about barriers in the system for families
- Employer Engagement Workgroup
Create a more flexible and supportive employer environment for employees who are supporting and caring for family members.
- See our employer survey to assess the needs of caregiver employees
- Underserved Families Workgroup
Improve supports for families of color and other underserved populations.
- Read the Policy Brief developed by the Underserved Families Workgroup
- Share this Job Description for a Family Navigator
- Future Planning Workgroup
Make affordable, high quality futures planning available to all families in Wisconsin who need it.
- Peer Supports Workgroup
Ensure that families receive the emotional, personal, and peer support they need.
- Background Check Workgroup
Explore the possibility for making culturally necessary exceptions to background checks and professional credentials.
Disability and Aging advocacy groups and organizations are invited to be listed as members of the Wisconsin Family and Caregiver Support Alliance. The WFACSA does not engage in lobbying activities but seeks to educate its members about public policy and other issues related to improved supports for caregivers. Please contact Co-Chairs Lisa Pugh Pugh@thearc.org or Lynn Gall Lynn.Gall@dhs.wisconsin.gov
*The idea for the formation of the Wisconsin Family and Caregiver Support Alliance originated at a conference of disability and aging advocates convened by The Arc Wisconsin at The Johnson Foundation at Wingspread in Racine, Wisconsin in August 2017.