CAREGIVING YOUTH PROJECT
- Focus for the student is tough when family health conditions create a decline in independence accompanied by stressors and require caregiving;
- Family caregiving is typically an adult responsibility; but adults are not always available, thus thrusting children into this role;
- More than a million young people bathe, dress, feed, assist with walking, give medications and do many other tasks for family members leaving little play time.
The Caregiving Youth Projects breaks through stresses and barriers to learning with direct services:
- In School – Skills-Building classes and Lunch and Learn Sessions – Grades 6-12;
- At Home – home visits by a social worker links families with resources, provides school supplies, food, laptops, respite, tutoring, counseling, and solutions for special project needs.
- Out of School – overnight Camp Treasure and Reunion Camp, family Holiday Celebrations, picnics, college prep, other education and fun activities.
- As of June 30, 2022 more than 2,000 Caregiving Youth and their families have enrolled in the CYP. Typically they begin with CYP from 6th grade and are from 35 middle and high schools in Palm Beach County, FL stretching from Boca Raton north to Palm Beach Gardens and west to Belle Glade and Pahokee. Participants are also from 22 other schools in the County.
- Caregiving Youth elect to remain with the CYP into high school – and they do for an average of 5.46 years concluding with an eight year average 98.7% high school graduation rate and more than 90% going on to post-secondary education or the military!
- Caregiving Youth report that the CYP has helped them with grades, confidence, skills, family life, communication and managing anger and stress.
- Be aware of family health situations and the effects on the whole family, especially on children and their education
- Know that parents & grandparents who are themselves overwhelmed may not realize the effects of family health situations on their children
- Refer concerns about caregiving youth to the school nurse, social worker or guidance counselor
- Support school personnel in identifying and supporting caregiving youth
- Connect, when possible, caregiving youth peers with each other
- Foster relationships with community support services to strengthen caregiving families
- Encourage caregiving youth to read ‘I’m a Teen Caregiver. Now What?’ and request help by calling their local information hotline
- Advocate for caregiving youth with legislators, religious and business leaders, the public and in educational and professional groups
- Attend the Caregiving Youth Institute conferences
- Take a proactive role – contact AACY about developing a Caregiving Youth Project or components of it through a non-profit in your community
- Refer students to Internet resources especially including www.aacy.org – American Association of Caregiving Youth
Thank you on behalf of our nation’s more than 3.4 million caregiving youth!