What is a young caregiver?
Young caregivers are youth, including minors, who help provide care due to circumstances such as these:
- Parent has a fractured limb, or spinal cord injury.
- Parent has a chronic illness.
- Parent(s) has an alcohol and/or drug addiction that leaves the child responsible to care for the adult(s) and siblings.
- Parent(s) are deceased and child may be raised by their grandparents. The child then becomes a caregiver for their aging or ill grandparent(s).
- The child (usually the eldest) is left to care for their siblings if they have a:
- Single parent working multiple jobs
- Sibling with a developmental or physical disability
Youth caregivers need support from their family and possibly professionals. They need help with staying in school; they need to be allowed to be children.