Like adult caregivers, all youth caregivers have unique situations. The care recipient may be a grandparent, parent, sibling, or other family member who suffers from chronic illness (including mental illness), disease or disability. Some youth caregivers support activities of daily living such as bathing, dressing or feeding. Others may contribute instrumental activities of daily living, such as cooking, cleaning, shopping, and managing medications.
Unlike adult caregivers, youth caregivers are excluded from benefits provided to older caregivers under the National Family Caregiver Support Program. In contrast to countries like the United Kingdom and Australia, youth caregivers in the US are not provided with the kinds of supports that are often afforded vulnerable young people and their families, and the mutual care that is common in these circumstances are widely unacknowledged or misunderstood. The American Association of Caregiving Youth seeks a comprehensive recognition of youth caregiving.
We were founded in May 2015 at a workshop held at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill hosted by Dr. Elizabeth Olson with Dr. Connie Siskowski. Our members work in collaboration with a variety of organizations, advocacy groups, and community partners to learn and support youth caregiving families. CYRC aims to facilitate cross-disciplinary research and collaborative opportunities for advancing meaningful and impactful research in the U.S. CYRC partners with the Caregiving Youth Institute of the AACY.