How it Works
The Purpose of the Program and How it Works
Established in 2000, the NFCSP provides grants to states and territories, based on their share of the population age 70 and over, to fund a range of supports that assist family and informal caregivers to care for their loved ones at home for as long as possible.
(Note: Authorizing legislation is Section 371 of the Older Americans Act of 1965, as amended, Title IIIE)
NFCSP grantees provide five types of services:
information to caregivers about available services
assistance to caregivers in gaining access to the services
individual counseling, organization of support groups, and caregiver training
respite care; and
supplemental services, on a limited basis
These services work in conjunction with other state and community-based services to provide a coordinated set of supports. Studies have shown that these services can reduce caregiver depression, anxiety, and stress as well as enable caregivers to provide care longer, thereby avoiding or delaying the need for costly institutional care.
Eligible Program Participants
While the Aging Network has always been involved in meeting the needs of care recipients and caregivers, by creating the NFCSP, Congress explicitly recognized the important role that family caregivers occupy in our nation’s long-term services and supports system.
As of the 2016 Reauthorization of the Older Americans Act, the following specific populations of caregivers are eligible to receive services:
Adult family members or other informal caregivers age 18 and older providing care to individuals 60 years of age and older
Adult family members or other informal caregivers age 18 and older providing care to individuals of any age with Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders
Older relatives (not parents) age 55 and older providing care to children under the age of 18; and
Older relatives, including parents, age 55 and older providing care to adults ages 18-59 with disabilities
Family caregivers present their unique needs and preferences for the types of programs and services they wish to receive at any given point in time. Further, available programs and services vary among states and communities. Fortunately, a number of national organizations and programs exist to inform and support program development and innovation. See resources and links below for additional information on research, technical assistance, and support for program development.