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When Kids Are the Caregivers

Posted: May 3, 2016

Here are two articles on children and adolescents who provide care for family members. Both were published in the “Caregiving Policy Digest” (Nov. 30 and Dec. 30, 2015).
  1. This US News article spotlights the 1.4 million children between ages 8 and 18 who are caregivers nationwide. These children most frequently provide care for parents or grandparents, taking on diverse responsibilities such as cooking and other household tasks; hands-on care like bathing, dressing, and toileting; and even taking on part- or full-time work in addition to their schooling to cover the cost of living. The article also identifies resources for young caregivers offered by the American Association of Caregiving Youth and other organizations working to support young caregivers.
  2. Invisible caregivers: More than a million children and adolescents are caring for family members. What are the consequences for their development? (by Stacy Lu, American Psychological Association,  Monitor on Psychology, September 2015, Vol 46, No. 8)
The American Psychological Association (APA) released an expanded and updated version of its Family Caregiver Briefcase in May, including additional material on youth caregivers. A featured article by Stacy Lu on this topic has been posted on the APA website. The article is an excellent summary of research on youth caregivers and paints a compelling portrait of the trials faced by these young caregivers. ARCH recently held a webinar with Connie Siskowski, Director of the American Association of Caregiving Youth, on Youth Caregivers: They need respite, too!. The webinar is archived on the ARCH website. Read the APA Article.