Beginner’s Guide: Launching a Working Family Caregiver Employee Resource Group

Caregiving doesn’t just happen during the work hours. In fact, as a sandwich-generation working family caregiver, I often had to use my time off for care, leave work unexpectedly, and make calls during the workday. Sometimes, my head wasn’t completely wrapped around work due to all the caregiving worries and responsibilities. And yet, I was also a valued and respected employee. I needed to work to support my family and found work to be a massive part of my identity.

I wanted to be a top performer, grow my career, and not feel guilty about caring for my family members. Is it possible to have all of these things be true at once? I do believe so…with the proper employer support in place.

An Employee Resource Group (ERG) is a voluntary, employee-led organization within a company that brings together individuals who share common characteristics, backgrounds, interests, or experiences. The primary purpose of an ERG is to provide support, networking opportunities, and a sense of community for its members while promoting diversity, inclusion, and equity within the workplace. ERGs often engage in various activities and initiatives that contribute to their members’ personal and professional development and help advance the company’s diversity and inclusion goals.

You may think you already have an Employee Assistance Program; isn’t that enough? EAP services can benefit family caregivers, but in my opinion, they don’t replace the elevated power of an ERG. My former company offered many EAP services, but I was unaware of how they could help me in my caregiving role. I didn’t make the connection. Other working peers using and talking about how they are using the EAP and other company benefits is where the magic happens.

View the guide on Happy Healthy Caregiver.

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