Perspectives on family caregiving generally begin with the care of children by parents but given reports of 29% of the U.S. population providing such care for an average of 20 hours per week (NCA/AARP, 2009; NCA/Evercare, 2009), in many ways caregiving discussions are increasingly focused on family caregivers as the mainstay of both long term care and of the management of care for people with chronic illness and disability. With values of as much as $375 billion being placed upon this unpaid care (NCA/Evercare, 2009), there have been long standing policy level concerns that public support of caregivers may result in families giving over this responsibility to “the state” (McCallion & Kolomer, 2003). However, there has been recognition of the need to support family caregivers most particularly embodied in the National Family Caregiver Support Program which supports assistance in locating services, counseling and training and respite care services throughout the country

(https://www.aoa.gov/AoARoot/AoA_Programs/HCLTC/Caregiver/index.aspx). Growing recognition of the increasing size of the aging and infirm population, the decline in birth rates and in family size and (if caregivers are not available) the challenge to locate sufficient levels public replacement care resources (Jackson, Howe, & Nakashima, 2010) has brought into focus:

– The demands being placed on family networks. – The absolute reliance of states on families to divert people from nursing

home placement and to support quality lives in the community.