Executive Order Expands Access to Community Living Services, Supports Family Caregivers

On April 18, 2023, President Biden will sign an executive order (EO) that includes more than 50 directives to federal agencies to increase access to affordable, high-quality care, and provide support for care workers and family caregivers.

The EO directs actions to improve job quality for the professionals who provide the critical services that make community living possible for millions of people. It includes actions to improve support for the 53 million family caregivers who provide the overwhelming majority of long-term support to older adults and people with disabilities. It also directs actions to expand availability of home and community-based services, including those funded by Medicaid and the Department of Veterans Affairs.

This exciting EO creates new momentum for ACL’s work to strengthen the care infrastructure that helps people with disabilities and older adults live and fully participate in their communities, including our work leading the National Strategy to Support Family Caregivers and to strengthen and expand the direct care workforce, our partnership with the Veterans Health Administration on the Veteran-Directed Care program, and more.

This White House fact sheet has more of the highlights. (We will share a link to the full text of the EO on our social channels and on ACL.gov as soon as it is available.)

Proposed Rule Will Make More Grandparents and Other Relatives Eligible for Resources to Support Them in Caring for Children Whose Parents Cannot

Yesterday, the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) announced a proposed rule that will make it easier for child welfare agencies to license relatives to foster children whose parents cannot care for them. (Specifically, the rule will allow child welfare agencies to create separate kinship caregiver licensing standards.) This will allow more grandparents and other relative caregivers to access the financial assistance and other resources that are available to licensed foster homes, making it possible for more children to remain with their families during challenging times. ACF is encouraging child welfare agencies to place as few burdens as possible on grandparents and other kin to become licensed, consistent with the safety and well-being of the child.

This rule addresses one of the significant challenges facing grandparents and other relative caregivers, and fulfills a key federal commitment made in the 2022 National Strategy to Support Family Caregivers.

The Children’s Bureau in ACF will hold an information session for title IV-E agencies and the public on Tuesday, February 28 from 3:30 to 4:00 PM ET providing an overview of the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM). No advance registration is required. Attendees can join using this Zoom link.

ACF’s announcement is below, and yesterday’s post on their Family Room blog has more information. The proposed rule and instructions for commenting are published in the Federal Register. Comments must be received by April 17, 2023.