Family Support: House Approves Lifespan Respite Reauthorization

On July 24, the House of Representatives approved the Lifespan Respite Care Reauthorization Act of 2019 (H.R.2035). The Lifespan Respite Care Program, through grants to states, helps build coordinated state lifespan respite systems, helps family caregivers pay for respite or find funding sources, encourages development of new and innovative community and faith based respite opportunities, and trains respite workers and volunteers. The Arc supports this bill, which must next be approved by the Senate.

Autism/Family Support: House Committee Approves Autism CARES, Lifespan Respite, F2F Health Information Centers Reauthorizations

On July 17, the House Committee on Energy and Commerce approved the Autism Collaboration, Accountability, Research, Education, and Support (CARES) Act of 2019 (H.R 1058, as amended); the Lifespan Respite Care Reauthorization Act of 2019 (H.R.2035); and the Reauthorizing and Extending America’s Community Health Act (H.R. 2328, as amended), which includes extension of the Family to Family (F2F) Health Information Centers through 2023. The Autism CARES Act funds autism research, surveillance, and education programs at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). The Lifespan Respite Care Program, through grants to states, helps build coordinated state lifespan respite systems, helps family caregivers pay for respite or find funding sources, encourages development of new and innovative community and faith based respite opportunities, and trains respite workers and volunteers. Family to Family (F2F) Health Information Centers provide critical support to families caring for children and youth with special health care needs (and assist providers, state and federal agencies, legislators, and other stakeholders to better understand and serve this constituency). These bills must next be approved by the full House of Representatives and then taken up by the Senate. Visit the Committee website for more information, including video of the markup. The Arc supports all three reauthorizations and is very pleased that the amendment to the Autism CARES Act requires three self-advocates (up from two) on the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee.

Autism/Family Support: House Subcommittee Approves Autism CARES, Lifespan Respite Reauthorizations

On July 11, the Health Subcommittee of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce unanimously voted to approve the Autism Collaboration, Accountability, Research, Education, and Support (CARES) Act of 2019 (H.R.1058); and the Lifespan Respite Care Reauthorization Act of 2019 (H.R.2035). The Autism CARES Act funds autism research, surveillance, and education programs at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). The Lifespan Respite Care Program, through grants to states, helps build coordinated state lifespan respite systems, helps family caregivers pay for respite or find funding sources, encourages development of new and innovative community and faith based respite opportunities, and trains respite workers and volunteers. These bills must next be approved by the full House Energy and Commerce Committee. Visit the Committee website for more information, including video of the markup.

Autism/Family Support: House Subcommittee Holds Hearing on Autism CARES, Lifespan Respite Reauthorizations

On June 25, the House Committee on Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee held a hearing titled “Reauthorizing Vital Health Programs for American Families.” The hearing examined four bills reauthorizing health laws, including the Autism Collaboration, Accountability, Research, Education and Support (CARES) Act and the Lifespan Respite Care Act. Witnesses for these reauthorizations were Amy Hewitt, Director, Institute on Community Integration, University of Minnesota; and Jill Kagan, Director, ARCH National Respite Network and Resource Center. Visit the committee website to review testimony and archived video of the hearing.

Employment/Family Support: House Committee Holds Hearing on Paid Family and Medical Leave

On May 8, the House Committee on Ways and Means held a hearing titled “Paid Family and Medical Leave: Helping Workers and Employers Succeed.” Witnesses were Marisa Howard-Karp, Member, MomsRising; Anthony Sandkamp, Owner, Sandkamp Woodworking; Pronita Gupta, Director of Job Quality, Center for Law and Social Policy; Suzan LeVine, Commissioner, Washington State Employment Security Department; and Rachel Greszler, Research Fellow in Economics, Budget, and Entitlements, Institute for Economic Freedom, The Heritage Foundation. Visit the committee website to review testimony and archived video of the hearing.

Family Support: Lifespan Respite Care Reauthorization Introduced in the House and Senate

On April 2, Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Representatives Jim Langevin (D-RI) and Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) introduced the Lifespan Respite Care Reauthorization Act of 2019 (S.995, H.R.2035). This bipartisan bill reauthorizes the Lifespan Respite Care Program through fiscal year 2024. The Lifespan Respite Care Program, through grants to states, helps build coordinated state lifespan respite systems, helps family caregivers pay for respite or find funding sources, encourages development of new and innovative community and faith based respite opportunities, and trains respite workers and volunteers. The Arc supports this legislation.

Family Support: NCAPPS to Host Webinar on Person and Family-Centered Planning for Respite

On April 3, the National Center on Advancing Person-Centered Practices and Systems (NCAPPS) will host a webinar titled Person and Family-Centered Planning for Respite. The webinar will focus on the importance of person and family-centered planning for caregivers. NCAPPS is a new initiative from the Administration for Community Living and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to provide technical assistance to states, tribes, and territories. Presenters for the webinar will be Shawn Terrell, Administration for Community Living; Alixe Bonardi, Human Services Research Institute; and Bevin Croft, Human Services Research Institute. Register here.

Family Support: Study on Impact of Caregiving on Workforce Released

Harvard Business School’s Managing the Future of Work Project released a new report documenting the near-universal nature of caregiving and the economic impact on companies. The report finds that “helping employees address their personal caregiving obligations is an approach employers almost entirely overlook as a mechanism for maximizing employee productivity and minimizing turnover.” The report provides solutions for employers to address this gap.

Family Support/Employment/Social Security – Senate Committee Holds Hearing on Paid Family Leave

On July 11, the Senate Finance Committee’s Subcommittee on Social Security, Pensions, and Family Policy held a hearing on “Examining the Importance of Paid Family Leave for American Working Families.” Witnesses were Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA); Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY); Andrew Biggs, Ph.D., Resident Scholar, American Enterprise Institute; Vicki Shabo, Vice President for Workplace Policies and Strategies, National Partnership for Women & Families; and Carolyn O’Boyle, Managing Director, Deloitte Services, LLP. Visit the Committee web site for more information including opening statements, testimony, and archived video of the hearing.

Family Support/Technology – Webinar on AT Resources for Family Caregivers and Respite Care Providers Announced

On July 12, the AT3 Technical Assistance and Training Center will host a webinar titled “Assistive Technology Programs: AT Resources for Family Caregivers and Respite Care Providers.” This webinar will share how caregivers and respite providers can connect and avail themselves of AT Act programs and activities. Presenters will share information about resources for access (resources to find and select AT) and acquisition (resources to obtain needed AT). Presenters will be Rob Groenendaal, Assistive Technology Program Manager, Center for Integrated Programs, Office of Consumer Access and Self-Determination, Administration for Community Living, US Department of Health and Human Services; Mary Exline,¬†AT3 Center Director; and others be announced. The webinar will take place from 2:00-3:00 PM EDT. Register here. Learn more about the webinar here.