Why are we talking about public policy at an organization that helps employers minimize productivity losses from caregiving/work conflicts?
Realizing the vision of a society in which every employer recognizes, values, and effectively supports each worker who chooses to care for a loved one requires a combined effort of the public sector (i.e. in the U.S., government policies and programs on the federal, state, and local levels) and the private sector (i.e. for-profit businesses and not-for-profit organizations).
Why is the role of the public sector important?
There are some important facets of society that cannot be effectively financed and delivered by private businesses. Smart public policy is crafted to fill these gaps and assures a “safety net” for families to remain healthy, physically and financially.
To assure that we, as a society, extend the same support to every employed caregiver, we need to assure that no one falls through the cracks as life circumstances change over time. For example:
- To stay healthy, every family caregiver needs access to quality, affordable health care for him or herself, as well as for the care partner.
- To avoid meltdown of household finances, every family caregiver needs access to income protection when he or she must take time off from work to provide care.
- To succeed at caregiving/work balance, caregivers rely on access to affordable, easy-to-access community services (e.g. adult day care services for elders or sheltered workshops for persons with developmental disabilities). These services, that fall under the broad definition of community-based long term care, are not uniformly available throughout the U.S. – and their existence and effectiveness.