- March/April 2001
- Vol. 2, No. 2
New Law Supports Grandparents Raising Grandchildren
New language in the Older Americans Act (PL 106-501), reauthorized last November, makes more grandparents and other older relatives who are caring for grandchildren eligible to receive supportive services.
The intergenerational initiative, known as the National Family Caregiver Support Act, provides services to individuals under age 60 for the first time. The following five program components will be administered by a partnership between local area agencies on aging, community service providers, and consumer organizations:
- Provision of information to caregivers about available services
- Assistance to caregivers in gaining access to such services
- Individual counseling, support groups, and caregiver training
- Respite care
- Supplemental long term care services to complement the care provided by caregivers and other informal caregivers
Additionally, the legislation contains the Native American Caregiver Support Program, which makes grants available to tribal organizations to provide these multi-faceted services. The bill also funds programs that provide opportunities for older individuals to engage in multigenerational activities and to obtain computer training and enhanced Internet access. Funding also will be made available to organizations providing legal support and clinical assistance to the elderly.
For a bill summary and legislative history of the Older Americans Act, access Thomas, a service of the Library of Congress at: http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d106:HR00782:
For more information about the National Family Caregiver Support Act, and how it affects grandparent and relative caretakers, contact:
122 C St., NW
Washington, DC 20001
The Administration on Aging's website includes a description and list of frequently asked questions about the Older Americans Act and the new caregiver program at: http://www.aoa.gov.
National Family Caregiver Support Program grant allocations to States are available on the HHS website at: http://www.hhs.gov/news/press/2001pres/20010215.html.
See related article in this issue of the Children's Bureau Express, "The Grandfamilies House: A Home for Parenting Grandparents and Their Grandchildren."