Did you know that more than seven million children and young adults (18 years old or younger) serve as unpaid family caregivers? 70% of those child caregivers are caring for a parent or grandparent. They provide care for family members with chronic illnesses, physical disabilities, mental illnesses, severe injuries sustained from military service and substance abuse issues. However, this hidden population is often thrust into the caregiver role with little to no support. This is why American Association of Caregiving Youth (AACY) had made its mission to “increase awareness and provide support services for youth caregivers and their families by connecting them with healthcare, education, and community resources.” Learn more about the AACY and how it can help you below.
What is the American Association of Caregiving Youth?
The American Association of Caregiving Youth provides critical support services to youth who find themselves in the role of caregiver. The AACY is the first comprehensive program in the US that addresses the challenges faced by children who sacrifice their education, health, well-being, and childhood to provide care for family members who are ill, injured, elderly, or disabled.
What are the Goals and Objectives of AACY?
The AACY aims to:
- Establish an affiliate network of Caregiving Youth Project Partners throughout the US
- Work with educational systems to find innovative solutions, so caregiving youth can be successful in their academic lives
- Partner with healthcare companies to help identify caregiving youth and their families earlier on
- Replicate models of success with supportive tools in the UK & Australia here in the US
- Provide resources for pre-teens, teens, families, and professionals about caregiving issues and help for caregiving youth
- Create a web-based network of counseling, support, and skill-building for caregiving youth
- Educate professionals about caregiving ramifications on student development and achievement
- Connect with support networks already in place for caregivers
- Sponsor respite relief including camp for caregiving youth
How can you help the AACY?
Raise awareness of the AACY, as well as these facts about caregiving. If you are a caregiver, share your story and offer your advice to those children now faced with this challenging role. Learn more about the AACY by clicking here.