Each day, caregivers look after and take care of our nation’s Veterans who need support. The Caregiver Support Program (CSP) recognizes their efforts and is here to support them. The mission of CSP is to promote the health and well-being of caregivers who care for those who served, focusing on improving the quality of life for caregivers.
Every VA facility has a CSP team that provides support and referrals to services for caregivers. They provide valuable information about resources to help caregivers stay informed and supported. Find a local CSP team using the locator tool.
Both programs serve to identify the unique needs of each caregiver
What are the two programs?
First is the Program of General Caregiver Support Services (PGCSS).
PGCSS is the core of CSP. This clinical program empowers caregivers by offering resources that sharpen their caregiving skills and services that support their personal growth, health and well-being.
Caregivers of Veterans enrolled in VA health care have access to PGCSS resources and services, for example one-on-one coaching, group support, online workshops, self-care courses and respite care.
Caregivers enrolled in PGCSS can also participate in special CSP events held at their local VA facility and dial into national activities.
Learn more about PGCSS resources and how to enroll.
Second is the Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers (PCAFC).
PCAFC offers enhanced clinical support to Family Caregivers of eligible Veterans who have a serious injury (including a serious illness) and require in-person personal care services, among other requirements. PCAFC provides training and support to Family Caregivers with the goal of increasing their confidence and ability to care for themselves and the Veteran.
Family Caregivers approved for PCAFC have access to all services and supports offered through PGCSS and may also have access to specific mental health resources, enhanced respite benefits, beneficiary travel and a monthly stipend.
Learn more about applying for PCAFC.
What’s the difference?
CSP offers a wide array of resources and services to caregivers across the care continuum, in both PCAFC and PGCSS. Review our program comparison guide.
While the majority of CSP services are offered under both programs, there are a few additional benefits available within PCAFC. Family Caregivers eligible for PCAFC may also have access to specific mental health resources, enhanced respite benefits, beneficiary travel and a monthly stipend.
As a reminder, all Veteran caregivers are encouraged to enroll in PGCSS in order to receive education and support, such as skills training, mobile support, one on one coaching, group support and respite.
The CSP team, available at every medical center, can connect caregivers with other caregivers with similar experiences to help reduce feelings of isolation and foster connectedness. CSP Teams can also educate caregivers about the resources available at VA and in the community.
Both programs serve to identify the unique needs of each caregiver by linking them to the services that best meet their individual needs and promote their health and well-being.
What caregivers are saying about CSP
“CSP broadened my learning scope, knowledge and understanding of expectations. I have learned better caregiving skills that help me protect my son and keep him safe and healthy. With CSP’s resources, I consider myself a professional caregiver and advocate. I can advise and mentor others. I know how to handle my stress, my emotions, and I know when and who to reach out to for help.” – CSP caregiver
“Some of the resources I am eternally grateful for are the Caregiver Support Program, the Annie Program, REACH VA, and Building Better Caregivers. We have been provided with in-person and online support, books and other audio resources. Within these programs, I was able to find the strength to heal myself to be a better caregiver for my husband and to be able to help him with learning better coping mechanisms for his own medical conditions.” – CSP caregiver
“CSP has been so helpful, and they have linked me to excellent resources and support. Additionally, caregivers helping each other and finding comfort in others through the Peer Mentor Program has been powerful for me.” – CSP caregiver
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