Anniversary Memory—Jubilant over Kupuna Caregivers Act 2017
By Kathleen Jaycox, past Faith Action president, 2016-2018
One of my best memories with Faith Action came in July 2017 when Governor Ige signed into law the Kupuna Caregivers Act. The first legislation of its type in the nation, this act provides financial help for families so that a working family member can remain in the workforce because stipends are available to assist with care services for the family’s kupuna age 60 or older.
This landmark legislation was not won overnight. The Faith Action Task Force under the leadership of Dr. Clementina Ceria-Ulep had worked for years to gather stories of the economic impact on families when an employed family member must give up employment in order to be a caregiver. The negative impact is not short-term; it persists long after the caregiving ends. We received support from the national organization Caring Across Generations for more than two years as we worked to organize our members, share their stories with the media, testify before the legislature, and raise public awareness. There were many ups and downs along the road to this success.
I was privileged to be the Faith Action president at the time. Definitely a happy day!