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Summary of LAO Findings and Recommendations on the 2012-13 Budget

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 Go Back  Department of Mental Health Elimination of funding for Caregiver Resource Centers Recommend the budget subcommittees refer the Caregiver Resource Centers (CRCs) funding elimination issue to the policy committee before any action is taken to eliminate CRC funding. The role of the CRCs in California should be evaluated within the broad framework of the array of available community-based services. 3-01-12

Detailed Narrative

Background. The CRCs provide services and supports to families and caregivers of persons with cognitive disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, dementia, and others. For example, the CRCs provide family consultation and care planning. The assistance provided by CRCs allows persons with these disorders to stay in familiar home environments while family members provide care. The 11 CRCs located throughout California provide free and low-cost services and supports to families and caregivers regardless of income.

Governor's Proposal. The administration proposes to eliminate funding for CRCs to achieve savings of $2.9 million General Fund. In addition to the $2.9 General Fund reduction, CRC administrators report the administration's proposal would result in a federal funding reduction to CRCs of $3.9 million due to federal matching requirements that would no longer be met. The CRC administrators also report they will receive about $450,000 in funding this year from private foundations.

Analyst's Comment. This proposal is somewhat at odds with the Governor’s Coordinated Care Initiative to provide better coordinated care for seniors and persons with disabilities in order to reduce fragmentation in the state’s long-term care services continuum. To the extent that the state would be relying more on home and community-based services under the Governor’s initiative, the role of the CRC would support those objectives. 

Analyst's Recommendation. We recommend the budget subcommittee refer this issue to the policy committee before any action is taken to eliminate CRC funding. The Legislature should consider the role of the CRCs in the context of the Governor’s Coordinated Care Initiative and other state efforts to provide seniors and persons with disabilities with community-based services instead of institutional care. (For more information on the Governor’s Coordinated Care Initiative, see our report, The 2012-13 Budget: Integrating Care for Seniors and Persons With Disabilities.) We believe the role of the CRCs in California should be evaluated within the broad framework of the array of available community-based services before funding for CRCs is eliminated.