Legislative Initiatives

Advocacy for family caregivers can occur at the Federal, State and Local Level. In this section we provide an overview and suggest resources for such efforts. Key legislative initiatives (enacted legislation and bills introduced but not enacted) in support of family caregivers is also reviewed.

Federal Level

The APA Public Interest Government Relations Office (PI-GRO) is actively engaged in promoting psychology in the public interest on a variety of issues, including the health and well-being of family caregivers. PI-GRO activities include the preparation of legislative background materials, statutory provisions, and formal comments on proposed legislation and regulations, as well as mobilizing the APA membership for grassroots advocacy efforts. PI-GRO staff also identifies and invites psychologists to testify at congressional hearings and briefings.

At one congressional briefing on lifespan respite care co-sponsored by APA, member William Haley, Ph.D. of the University of South Florida presented psychological research findings on caregiving's effects on stress, health, and emotional well-being, and the benefits of respite services, as well as individual and family counseling.

State and Local Level

Advocacy efforts for family caregiving also occur and the state and local level. Support for these initiatives is provided by APA, national caregiving organizations, and state and local family caregiver coalitions. The National Alliance on Caregiving’s Advocacy Task Force has a wealth of information related to state and local coalitions including an Advocacy Tool Kit for Caregiving Coalitions and examples of advocacy materials developed in seven states.

Key Legislative Initiatives