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Cary, North Carolina

Innovative and Exemplary:

The Center for Volunteer Caregiving has a 22-year history providing in-home respite to caregivers of adults with physical disabilities, dementia and memory conditions, chronic illness, and special medical needs. Services are available at no cost to families by more than 50 volunteers providing more than 2,000 hours of respite yearly. Person- and family-centered services begin with a thorough in-home, intake assessment and interview that guide a matching process. Personal and practical information are used to inform case management, anticipatory guidance, and referrals to additional services so that family services are both comprehensive and preventive. In addition to employing a matching process that is supportive of both families and volunteers, volunteers –– ranging in age from 18 to 92 years –– are made to “feel part of a community” through educational and social activities. Several volunteers have been with The Center for Volunteer Caregiving for 15 years. This program credits their stability and longevity in part to evaluation efforts that include the collection of qualitative and quantitative data according to an evaluation plan created with the assistance of the University of North Carolina School of Social Work, used to make day-to-day program decisions as well as to document outcomes and the merit of their work.