National Family Caregiver Support Program

Why the Program is Needed

More than 65 million Americans provide care for a loved one who has a disability, is chronically ill, or is elderly and spend an average of 20 hours per week providing care.  For caregivers of people with I/DD the levels of responsibility are not only greater, but frequently lifelong.  There are approximately 2.9 million family caregivers of persons with I/DD in the U.S. According to The Arc’s Family and Individual Needs for Disability Supports (FINDS) survey, most of these family caregivers provide more than 40 hours of care per week (including 40% who provide more than 80 hours of care per week).  As our society continues to depend on the active engagement of family caregivers for the support of individuals with people with all types of disabilities, it is essential to meet the needs of these caregivers to continue providing care in the community instead of more costly and unwanted institutions.

What it Does

The National Family Caregiver Support Program (NFCSP), established in 2000, provides grants to states and territories, based on  their share of the population aged 70 and over, to fund a range of supports that assist family and informal caregivers to care for their loved ones at home for as long as possible. Under the NFCSP, states are required to provide information to caregivers about available services, assistance to caregivers in gaining access to the services, individual counseling, organization of support groups, and caregiver training, respite care, and supplemental services, on a limited basis.  These services work in conjunction with other state and community-based services to provide a coordinated set of supports.

Authorizing Legislation

The Older Americans Act of 1965 as amended (42 U.S.C. 3030s)


Recent Funding

Please see the table on the Funding for Federal Disability-related Programs page.

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