Earlier this week, 42 representatives from over 30 local nonprofit and healthcare organizations met via ZOOM to discuss how they can work together to respond to the extreme needs caregivers in Santa Barbara County experience.
By joining forces to help unpaid family caregivers self-identify and find supportive services, the Caring Together Santa Barbara County collaboration reminds residents that they are not alone in their caregiving efforts. There is a network of organizations to support them and the needs of their loved ones.
“Working together across the county to support seniors, caregivers and service providers just makes sense,” said Renee Kuhlman, Family Consultant for Coast Caregiver Resource Center and one of the leads for the initiative.
“Agencies participating in Caring Together Santa Barbara County are working to break down silos and implement collaborative solutions to very complex issues,” said Ms. Kuhlman. “Trusted agencies including Lompoc Valley Community Healthcare Organization (LVCHO), Family Service Agency (FSA), Marian Regional Medical Center, Coast Caregiver Resource Center (CCRC), the Santa Barbara County Adult and Aging Network, Prontopia and the Santa Barbara Foundation are coming together to lead the network first created and convened by the Foundation’s Community Caregiving Initiative.”
Last year, several regional “Caring Together” initiatives previously funded by the Santa Barbara Foundation’s Community Caregiving Initiative merged into one partner network, Caring Together Santa Barbara County. Working together, this network of organizations can offer family caregivers throughout the county broader access to countywide resources and referrals and break down barriers within the system of care for caregivers.
“It’s imperative we listen, learn, and adapt to caregivers in our communities across Santa Barbara County to support them meaningfully across diverse cultures and circumstances,” said Rubayi Estes, Vice President, Program at the Santa Barbara Foundation. “This is why the Caring Together Santa Barbara County Partner Network is so important that we can suitably support our communities and coordinate services. Once a caregiver is engaged with the network, they will find a community of providers who can help them navigate care services for their loved one and themselves.”
Family caregivers looking for support can access information online at CaringTogetherSBC.org. There they can learn about local resources, take a caregiver stress quiz, or complete a care map.
Caring Together Santa Barbara County is a public awareness campaign and network aimed at increasing the ability of caregivers to self-identify as a “caregiver.” Caring Together Santa Barbara County is focused on helping caregivers understand they are not alone in their caregiving efforts and there is a network of organizations to support them. Family Service Agency provides the backbone for the campaign. The campaign and the network collaboration is funded in-part by the Santa Barbara Foundation.