Give Now


Strengthening Families for the Journey of Caring

Living and dying with dignity should be a shared community value. That's why the Santa Barbara Foundation is committed to innovative solutions supporting people who need care and the people who care for them. The Community Caregiving Initiative will establish effective caregiver support systems through the development of cross-sector networks of community organizations, including but not limited to health, social and education sectors.

The foundation is focused on the backbone of the long-term care system—family caregiving. Currently, 87% of long-term care is provided by unpaid family caregivers—people who often don't self-identify as caregivers. In Santa Barbara County, 70,000 unpaid caregivers provide care valued at $624 million annually. Providing support and services to family caregivers, including helping people identify with their roles in care giving and developing more integrated and inclusive health and social systems, will strengthen the continuum of care and improve the quality of life for caregivers and their loved ones.

Community Caregiving Initiative Grants

Additional Resources

Check out a list of our Community Caregiving Initiative Partners who contribute to this work.

Stay up to date on all the Latest News from the Community Caregiving Initiative.

Community Caregiving Initiative Grants (formerly known as Family Caregiver Systems & Support Grants) are available to pilot, develop, and bolster new projects and programs that build community capacity and systems for caregiver support—including work supported through this grant opportunity in the past two years. Competitive projects will address identified gaps and opportunities in existing services, exchanges, and connections that increase caregiver resiliency and competency.

  • Application Deadline: This grant program is now closed.
  • Award Date: January 2018
  • Contact: Phylene Wiggins
In Their Own Words
Watch our Technical Support Webinar



Broadening the Caregiver Safety Net

Everyone ages and communities thrive when everyone has what they need to age successfully. By partnering with individuals, families, local communities, nonprofits and other entities in order to address long-term care issues, the foundation is addressing challenges brought on by an aging population and increased longevity.

Here are six ways the Community Caregiving Initiative is increasing awareness and advancing support for caregivers in Santa Barbara County:

  • Encouraging Self-Identification and Engagement

    Following a community-wide assessment in Lompoc, two problems in particular came to the fore: the lack of caregiver self-identification and the need for a centralized caregiver resource "hub." The foundation is investing $75,000 in the Lompoc Valley Community Healthcare Organization to launch a broad-based public awareness and engagement campaign, incorporating the release of a community study, press events to educate the community, recognition of existing community providers and resources, and engagement of community leaders. Targeted groups include employers, the medical field and the Latino community. A centralized caregiver "hub," to be housed within Lompoc Valley Medical Center facilities and accessible to the public, will be developed to provide caregivers with best practices, integrate with discharge planning, and create a centralized referral tracking system. The medical center’s intake system has already added a feature to track caregivers.

  • Integrating the Caregiver as a Medical Team Member

    The foundation is working with Marian Regional Medical Center in Santa Maria to integrate the caregiver as a member of the medical team and embed caregiver support into the processes and procedures of the hospital. Marian has aligned its internal systems and partnered with seven community-based organizations to increase both the breadth and depth of support to caregivers. The focus of the work will be on those who provide care for medically fragile patients. The project—with a $75,000 investment from the Santa Barbara Foundation—will create an interdisciplinary caregiver support system within a health system that reduces the burden of caregiving and enhances wellbeing and coping skills of caregivers. Referrals to the system may come from the hospital, the medical community, community partners or community members at large, thus encouraging self-identification. Once identified, caregivers will receive self-care gift baskets and community resource guides.

  • Broadening Access to Therapy for Caregivers

    To increase the number of trained family therapists who specialize in healthy aging, the foundation will provide $75,000 to the Family Service Agency, Antioch University, and the Alzheimer's Association. The curriculum of the "Healthy Aging in Clinical Psychology" program at Antioch will be enhanced by the addition of dementia and family impacts programs and six Marriage and Family Therapist trainees from Antioch will be placed and supervised at the Family Service Agency. Trainees will provide 1,560 hours of support to 77 family caregivers. As the program builds, additional partner sites will be incorporated into the family caregiver support network.

  • Increasing the Effectiveness of Lay Health Workers

    The engagement of the Latino community is critical to the success of the Community Caregiving Initiative. Promotores are lay health workers who are trusted healthcare partners in the Latino community. The local promotore network has long been involved in family and pediatric health. This project will bolster and train the network to address health and family issues related to aging. A $40,000 grant from the foundation to the Santa Barbara Regional Health Authority and Doorway to Health will recruit and train an additional 40 promotores, and 15 (five each from Lompoc, Santa Maria and Santa Barbara) will be trained in caregiver identification and resources in their respective communities to reach 500 individuals on behalf of caregiver collaborative projects.

  • Helping Families of Patients Diagnosed with Alzheimer's

    A $40,000 grant from the Santa Barbara Foundation will build the capacity of the local Alzheimer's Association to serve more families, create active referrals, provide education and family support services, and develop a resiliency assessment tool to determine the impact of interventions. The project will involve Sansum Clinic and the countywide promotore network. The national Alzheimer's Association is especially interested in the opportunity to work with the promotores to create a toolkit for Latino engagement to distribute to its regional chapters nationwide.

  • Enhancing Care for Dementia Patients

    With a $40,000 grant from the foundation, a caregiver navigator position will be introduced to enhance the care of dementia patients at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital and Cottage Rehabilitation Hospital. Working with hospital case managers and medical social workers, dementia caregivers will be identified and referred to the program. The project will increase awareness of dementia care within the hospital and address gaps in care between healthcare providers and caregivers. A network of social services providers that support dementia caregivers will be developed and the caregiver navigator will meet referred caregivers in the hospital or in their homes shortly after patient discharge. Approximately 40 patients and their caregivers will be assessed and receive caregiver action plans. The caregiver navigator will provide education, psycho-education and consultation to address the challenges of caregiving for a person with dementia. Additionally, the navigator may facilitate family meetings, assist in accessing services and provide warm hand-offs to community providers.



Create Your Own Care Map

A "care map" is a visualization of your care ecosystem: who you care for, who else cares for that person, and who cares for you. The Atlas of Caregiving launched a "how to" kit to help families better understand their caregiving situations, including instructions on how to create your own care map, how to learn from it and how to act on it. Watch this video and then read the rest of the instructions.


Care Map Video
Watch the "Put Your Family Caregiving On The Map" video by clicking PLAY

Community Caregiving Initiative Partners

Learn More

To learn more about the Community Caregiving Initiative or to help support this effort, please contact Phylene Wiggins, senior director of community investments.
North County Headquarters:  (805) 346-6123  |   2625 S. Miller Street, Suite 101, Santa Maria, CA 93455
South County Headquarters:  (805) 963-1873  |  1111 Chapala Street, Suite 200, Santa Barbara, CA 93101