Federal Resources for Building Faith Based Partnerships
Please check out the general resources available at The Center for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships at the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).The Center works in collaboration with the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. The White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships works to build bridges between the federal government and nonprofit organizations, both secular and faith-based, to better serve Americans in need. The Office advances this work through 11 Agency Centers across government and a Strategic Advisor at the Corporation for National and Community Service. While not specifically focused on family caregiving, the Center has valuable tools and resources for working with the faith-based community and identifies national help to recruit volunteers (see pages 57-69 of their Partnership Guide for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Organizations). For building partnerships with faith-based and community-based organizations, see also Capacity Building Toolkits for Faith-Based and Community Organizations from the Office of Community Service at the Administration for Children and Families at HHS. While the Compassion Capital Fund is no longer awarding new grants, they produced some materials that provide good resources for capacity building. Please also revisit ARCH’s resources on Faith-Based Respite: 1) Webinar on Faith-Based Respite; and 2) Fact Sheet on Respite and the Faith Community.
IRS Announces New Voluntary Worker Classification Settlement Program; Past Payroll Tax Relief Provided to Employers Who Reclassify Their Workers
Last September, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) created a new settlement program in an effort to correct employee classification of independent contractors. This will provide an avenue for programs which have been incorrectly classifying employees as independent contractors to redeem themselves without facing stiff penalties. The question regarding use of consultants rather than employees has been raised by respite agencies in the past. The Voluntary Classification Settlement Program (VCSP) is a new optional program that provides taxpayers with an opportunity to reclassify their workers as employees for future tax periods for employment tax purposes with partial relief from federal employment taxes for eligible taxpayers that agree to prospectively treat their workers (or a class or group of workers) as employees. To participate in this new voluntary program, the taxpayer must meet certain eligibility requirements, apply to participate in the VCSP by filing Form 8952, Application for Voluntary Classification Settlement Program, and enter into a closing agreement with the IRS. Full details are available in Announcement 2011-64.
Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to Amend the Companionship and Live-In Worker Regulations
On December 27, 2011, the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) issued proposed changes to the companionship and live-in worker regulations under the Fair Labor Standards Act. While Congress expanded protections to “domestic service” workers in 1974, these Amendments also created a limited exemption from both the minimum wage and overtime pay requirements of the Act for casual babysitters and companions for the aged and infirm, and created an exemption from the overtime pay requirement only for live-in domestic workers. For more information, see an explanation of the proposed rule by the WHD.
The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) would revise the companionship and live-in worker regulations for two purposes:
•● To more clearly define the tasks that may be performed by an exempt companion
•● To limit the companionship exemption to companions employed only by the family or household using the services. Third party employers, such as in-home care staffing agencies, could not claim the exemption, even if the employee is jointly employed by the third party and the family or household.
Interested parties are invited to submit written comments on the proposed rule on or before February 27, 2012 at www.regulations.gov.
To see one view on the proposed regulations, see remarks of Constance Laymon on December 22