Today the President’s Middle Class Task Force released its annual report with significant recommendations that would provide support for families. Chaired by Vice-President Joe Biden with social worker Dr. Jared Bernstein serving as Executive Director, recommendations were categorized in the following four areas:
- Protecting Workers and Creating Middle Class Jobs
- Retirement Security
- Balancing Work and Family Responsibilities
- Pathways to the Middle Class
The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) enthusiastically supports the recommendations of the Task Force and wrote a letter, along with a number of other groups, specifically regarding “Helping Families Balance Work and Caregiving Obligations.” The proposed policies in this area supported our own suggestions and experience in working with families who care for their older relatives.
In 2006 and 2008, NASW, in partnership with the New York Academy of Medicine (NYAM), conducted research focusing particularly on sandwich generation women (SGW) who were between the ages of 35 and 54 and caring for their own children and aging relatives. Key findings from our surveys support the need for the expanding the Dependent Care Tax Credit, which has only been raised once in 28 years, as well as expanding the $102.5 million Caregiver Initiative, which provides resources for respite care, transportation, and assistance with activities of daily living.