Understanding the Innovations Clearinghouse
The goal of the Innovations Clearinghouse on Family Caregiving is to be an online community which will promote professional knowledge around families in their caregiving role. This online community includes:
- a national, searchable repository of evidence-based interventions, policy efforts and emerging practices and tools with a primary focus on the support of family/informal caregivers; and
- various interactive features that will offer educational and networking opportunities among professionals and promote the flow of information and exchange of ideas on family caregiving
The Innovations Clearinghouse primarily focuses on professionals seeking outcome producing practices and tools aiming to support informal caregiving. The target audience for this project comprises policy developers and advocates, social workers, nurses and other related professionals working in the fields of health and social services.
Family/informal caregivers looking to educate themselves on emerging approaches to dealing with caregiver issues are also welcome to join this online community and explore its various pages.
Finally, students, researchers and anyone concerned about the issues facing families in their caregiving role, will find this site useful and educational.
All our visitors are further encouraged to share their thoughts and feedback through the many interactive features of this site.
Evidence Based Interventions
The interventions included in this section followed en explicit, carefully documented process and produced either significant results (e.g. lowering caregiver depression, introducing novel coping skills etc) or offered valuable insight into some aspect of family caregiving. Interventions were selected after careful review of the literature and were further discussed with experts in the field. In addition:
- Articles were published after 1990
- Care receiver is an adult with adult onset chronic and disabling health conditions
- Articles either report on a single intervention or is a meta analysis of a cluster of interventions (original study may date prior to 1990)
- Interventions studied are either caregiver specific or contain a significant caregiver component
- Studies provide adequate information on methodology (including materials/scales used) so that they can be replicated accurately
- Report provides credible evidence for the intervention’s effectiveness
Programs included here are noted for their successful use of “unconventional” means (such as the arts and multimedia) and foster innovation by bringing services to historically underserved populations, such as ethnic, rural and LGBT communities. New and imaginative supports were central to these programs which may serve as a guide for others attempting to achieve a similar goal. In addition, programs:
- Must be either caregiver specific or contain a significant caregiver component, with a clearly defined goal
- Must provide some form of acceptable evidence for their effectiveness
- Can provide clear details on method and process of the intervention/activities
- Are available for distribution from a credible source that is likely to remain available for the foreseeable future
- Offer a fresh perspective to family caregiver support in at least one area of interest:
- Diversity (ethnic populations, unconventional caregivers etc)
- Creative expression/Alternative approaches (e.g. use of multi media)
- Diverse settings (rural communities, nursing homes etc)
- Health literacy
- Offer vital lessons learned
Programs included here were selected for their well recognized contributions to the support of families in their caregiving role. Many of these programs are considered to be authorities in their fields and have been replicated widely. In addition, programs:
- Must be either caregiver specific or contain a significant caregiver component
- Were selected after careful review and discussion with experts in the field
- Have been proven effective over time
- Are available for distribution from a credible source that is likely to remain available for distribution for the foreseeable future
- Contain well developed, ready to use training materials
- Have been either replicated or been a model/example for similar projects/ideas
Policy & Advocacy
This section includes:
State and federal legislation that has a direct impact on caregivers of older adults and adults with disabilities. These bills include those with:
- Direct support or policies for family caregivers, or
- Policies for care receivers if they have an impact on caregivers and their provision of care
Reports, other published papers, advocacy campaigns, and relevant public initiatives with a specific focus on public policies, proposals and legislation directly related to issues that affect family caregivers.