A family caregiver voluntarily cares for a parent, spouse, partner, or another adult relative or friend. The assistance that family caregivers provide may allow care recipients to remain at home rather than in long-term care. The Family Caregiver Support Program (FCSP) at the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) provides resources and services to unpaid family caregivers in Washington State. In concert with the state’s 13 Area Agencies on Aging, the FCSP provides information and outreach; screening, assessment, consultation, coordination of services, and caregiver support services and resources. The program directly served 5,800 caregivers in fiscal year (FY) 2011.
For fiscal year 2012, the legislature increased funding for FCSP to expand in-depth services to more caregivers. The legislature also directed the Washington State Institute for Public Policy to work with DSHS to establish and review outcome measures associated with the FCSP expansion. The goal of the study is to assess whether the expansion of this program delays entry of care recipients into Medicaid-paid long-term care.
This report gives a brief description of the program and outlines the approach to evaluation. A final report will be published by August 30, 2012