The physical, emotional, and economic burdens of family caregiving can present a serious threat to the stability and continuity of a caregiving situation. Public policymakers, aware of the high costs of replacing such voluntary efforts with publicly funded institutional care, are becoming more and more concerned about the needs of caregivers and possible intervention strategies to meet those needs.

This article begins with a description of Pennsylvania's new policy initiative for caregivers, the Family Caregiver Support Program (FCSP). Following is a discussion of the evaluation of the program's demonstration phase by the Human Organization Science Institute of Villanova University. The evaluation concluded that the FCSP has a significant positive impact on the lives and abilities of caregivers, including the reduction of caregiver stress and burden. The concluding summary of program results seeks to sharpen the reader's interest in the potential benefits of an intervention strategy such as this and suggests a need for additional research for the benefit of those concerned about health care cost containment.

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