About

Our Vision

A Canada where young caregivers and their families are recognized, supported and empowered to achieve their full potential.

Our Mission

Young Caregivers Association is the leader in service, awareness and empowerment for young caregivers and their families across Canada.

Our Values

Resilience

We bounce back from adversity by adapting and remaining strong with a focus on moving forward. We lead by example and use opportunities to grow and further develop as an organization

Some of us go through a lot, but we know we can move through it with Powerhouse

Young Caregiver, age 10

Caring

We are welcoming, accepting, and are committed to providing support with compassion and empathy.

YCA helps us understand we are not alone and make us feel like we matter.

Young Caregiver, age 12

Quality

Our focus is on the people we serve – young caregivers and their families. Through a client centred and research informed approach, we strive for excellence through evaluation and continuous improvement. We are committed to measuring, achieving and reporting results.

YCA takes into account the feelings and thoughts of the kids in the program.

Young Caregiver, age 14

Integrity

We stand out as role models to others because of the way we value the people and things around us. We hold ourselves accountable and expect honest and genuine action.

The staff teach by example how to have good attitudes and good morals.

Young Caregiver, age 14

Learning

We are dedicated to continuous teaching, learning and development as we foster an environment of collaborative dialogue in order to advance the profile of young caregivers in society.

Everyone has a story we can learn from.

Young Caregiver, age 16

Who We Are

Our work began in 2003 when the Young Carers Initiative Niagara was created as a special project of the Alzheimer Society of Niagara in response to the children and youth they identified as participating in the caregiving of a loved one with dementia. It became clear that these children were struggling with stress, anxiety and symptoms of depression. Building on the principle that caregiving is a family event, action was taken. Through a collaboration of young caregivers, community partners, research, and funders, awareness and educational materials were developed along with programs designed specifically for young caregivers.

In 2006, public awareness efforts included the first conference about young caregivers ever to be held in Canada. The “Bouncing Back” conference in Niagara Falls attracted 100 participants from across Canada, as well as Florida, Texas and the U.K.

In 2007 the Young Carers Initiative became a registered charity and with the results from Dr. Chalmers’ study and with the support of Alzheimer’s Society of Brant, Haldimand, Norfolk, Hamilton, Halton, a year later the Young Carers Initiative received funding from the Hamilton Niagara Haldimand Brant Local Health Integration Network (HNHB LHIN) to begin delivering the Powerhouse Project programming.

As the first young caregiver program in Canada and the established Canadian expert organization in supporting young caregivers, our organization has evolved over the years. With a dedication to research informed practice and collaboration across Canada, it was decided that it was time for a new identity in order to expand our reach. Our re-branding process began in 2017 with focus groups and a community survey get input from young caregivers, their families, and community partners, including input from Family Caregivers of British Columbia, Caregivers Alberta, and Caregivers Nova Scotia. One of the areas of focus was the language – do we use young carer or young caregiver? Although they mean the same thing, young carers is the term used in the UK and Australia. It was determined that in order to achieve more awareness across Canada, we need to align ourselves with the family caregiver language that is being used in Canada. As a result, we are now the Young Caregivers Association with Powerhouse remaining as the title of our service delivery model.

 

WHAT WE DO

Young Caregivers Association is a registered charity with the mission to be the leader in service, awareness, and empowerment for young caregivers and their families across Canada.

Our vision is to have a Canada where young caregivers and their families are recognized, supported, and empowered to achieve their full potential.

Through our strategic plan, we are focussed on achieving our goals under our new brand and purpose. We strive to achieve our mission and goals through leading, supporting and empowering.

Our main focus is providing supportive programs and counselling to young caregivers and their families in the Haldimand, Norfolk and Niagara Regions which we continue to achieve through the Powerhouse program, which was developed more than 15 years ago. Canadian researcher Dr. Vivian Stamatopoulos conducted a study on existing young caregiver programs across Canada and validated our position as the most advanced and sophisticated model for such supports across the country (Stamatopoulos, 2018). Our co-design approach continues to ensure young caregivers have a voice in all we do.

Niagara Centre

318 Ontario St
Unit 7A
St. Catherines ON  L2R 5L8
Ph: 905-932-4201
Fx: 289-362-2342

Haldimand-Norfolk Centre

c/o Haldimand Abilities Centre
42 Main St.
Hagersville, ON  N0A 2H0
Ph:  905-768-1034
Fx:  905-768-1034

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