6401 Congress Ave, #200, Boca Raton, FL 33487   800-508-9618 / 561-391-7401



AACY began in 1998 as Boca Raton Interfaith in Action with funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to provide volunteer support services to homebound persons and caregiving families. In 2005 the corporation’s name changed to Volunteers for the Homebound and Family Caregivers. Then, after transitioning adult services to another non-profit, effective January 1, 2010, the name officially changed to the American Association of Caregiving Youth® (AACY), which continues as a Florida based 501 (c) (3) non-profit corporation.

The focus on youth began after doctoral research in Palm Beach County that identified an otherwise hidden population of child caregivers and their concomitant academic challenges. Findings from the 2005 Young Caregivers in the US report indicated that at least 1.4 million children were caregivers ages 8-18 at the time. Months later, the 2006 Silent Epidemic Report supported the national and County research. It documented that among young adults who had dropped out of school, 22% did so to care for a family member.

The first program in the US to provide services for the youth caregiver population began as the Caregiving Youth Project (CYP) started in the Fall of 2006 at one middle school in partnership with The School District of Palm Beach County. By the end of its 11th year, it regionally enrolled more than 1,500 students among 25 middle and high schools and has evolved to serve many more, with many more yet to serve. The CYP expansion is a success; the project is limited only by resources.

The Caregiving Youth Institute (CYI), launched in 2014, seeks to raise awareness of the multi-system needs of all caregiving youth and provide national solutions, align with international efforts, and support this huge, hidden population through the multiple initiatives of Connection, Advocacy, Research, and Education (C.A.R.E.). The Institute connects people who care with each other.

AACY has evolved as a leader in Caregiving Youth issues in the United States, and we look forward to many more years of positive history to record.


Connie Siskowski, RN, Ph.D., Founder, and President of AACY, is an alumna of Johns Hopkins University, New York University, and Lynn University (Ph.D. in 2004). She was inspired to establish the American Association for Caregiving Youth after caregiving for her grandfather at 11 years old and then went on through her academic research to discover that family health situations often have detrimental academic effects on children. She is determined to lessen caregiver isolation by honoring their struggles and advocating for U.S. youth who may be considering dropping out of school or life due to having a family member they must care for. Through her work with AACY, she is dedicated to diminishing Caregiving Youth suffering and assisting them with the challenges they face daily. Her mission is for all caregiving youth to be acknowledged and respected so no child must drop out of school or life due to out-of-turn family caregiving responsibilities.

In June 2009, Dr. Siskowski was awarded a lifetime Ashoka Fellowship. In October 2009, she became one of 10 Purpose Prize winners, a national endeavor honoring persons over 60 who initiated an innovative solution for social change. In September 2010, The Johns Hopkins University Alumni Association presented her with The Distinguished Alumna Award. In 2011 AACY won the Palm Beach County Medical Society’s Heroes in Medicine Award for Community Outreach; later that year, Bethesda Hospital Foundation named Dr. Siskowski a Woman of Grace. In May 2012, she was named a CNN Hero, and in September 2012 was named one of the Top Ten CNN Heroes for 2012. She serves on the RAISE Family Caregiving Council of Health and Human Services faculty, among other local and national boards and committees.

Dr. Connie, as she is fondly called, has also published many research papers and interviewed with hundreds of local and national publications.

  • Educate professionals in healthcare, education and the community about caregiving ramifications on student development and achievement
  • Collaborate with schools and systems to initiate innovative solutions so that caregiving youth can be successful in their academic and personal lives
  • Partner with health care providers in the early identification of caregiving youth and their families
  • Provide resources for pre-teens, teens, families and professionals about issues and help for caregiving youth
  • Utilize existing and develop new uses of technology to create a network of counseling, support of for caregiving youth
  • Collaborate with existing caregiver support networks and community partners to identify and distribute resources for youth caregivers
  • Educate legislators to produce policies change to support caregiving youth personally and academically
  • Establish an affiliate network of Caregiving Youth Projects throughout the United States
  • Advance the components of the Caregiving Youth Institute C.A.R.E. (Connection, Advocacy, Resources, Education)