Young Caregivers Knowledge Centre

Helping families, educators, health care professionals, and young caregivers connect with resources and tools to support wellbeing.

Resources for

Young
Caregivers

Resources for

Parents & Caregivers

Resources for

Educators

Resources for

Health
Professionals

Who is a Young Caregiver?

Young caregivers are children, youth, and young adults ages 5 to 25 who provide care for a family member due to a chronic illness, disability, mental health concern or substance misuse.

Young caregivers help their family members in various ways by caring for their siblings or providing personal, emotional, or financial support to a parent or grandparent.

When compared to non-caregiving peers, research reveals that young caregivers are at a greater risk of stress and depressive symptoms, low self-esteem, high anxiety levels, loneliness and isolation, difficulty relating to peers, self-harm and even suicidal ideation.

14 TO 27 HOURS OF CARE PER WEEK

In Ontario, young caregivers provide between 14 and 27 hours of care on average per week. This is the equivalent to a part-time job.

1,250,000

There are an estimated 1.25 million young caregivers in Canada. This data excludes Northern Canada and children under the age of 15, leaving out a significant number of children and youth who provide care for a loved one.

THE NEED FOR SUPPORTS

Supports such as friendships are lost due to the lack of free time because of caregiving. When friendships are lost, it leads to limited emotional support.

Chalmers, 2008, 2017; Stamatopoulos, 2018.

General Social Survey, 2012; Stamatopoulos.

What is our role in the young caregiver journey?

Young caregivers are not typically recognized by family doctors, dentists, teachers and other professionals in their life. Young caregivers, therefore, go unidentified and unsupported, putting their own mental health and wellbeing at risk.

Utilizing the tools and resources in this Knowledge Centre, parents, family doctors, and teachers can:

Support young caregivers’ academic performance and life at school

Address feelings of isolation, especially after young caregivers spent more time at home during the pandemic

Identify the unidentified and unsupported

The Young Caregivers Knowledge Centre is made possible by the Petro-Canada Caremakers Foundation. The Petro-Canada CareMakers Foundation National Grant program is intended to inspire transformational change in the lives of family caregivers across Canada.

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