American Association of Caregiving Youth

Supporting children who care for ill, injured, elderly, or disabled family members.

    • February 1, 2014

Since 2006, Connie Siskowski—founder and president of the American Association of Caregiving Youth—has provided critical support to more than 550 young caregivers in Palm Beach County, FL, driven by her own experience as a primary caregiver for her grandfather in her early teens. RWJF congratulates Connie on being honored as a 2012 Top 10 CNN Hero. 

As the responsibility of caring for ill, injured, elderly, or disabled family members increasingly falls to children, the care they provide often compromises their education and childhoods. Sometimes referred to as a "hidden population," it is essential to address the specific mental, physical, and emotional health needs of caregiving youth.

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1.4 Million

Children ages 8-18 years old are caregivers in the U.S.

The American Association of Caregiving Youth (AACY) provides critical support services to youth who find themselves in the role of caregiver.

A grant from Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Local Funding Partnerships enabled AACY and the Caregiving Youth Project to help alleviate the stress of middle-school students by providing services needed to take care of their family members, and themselves. In particular, the grant supported a combination of in-school counseling, respite care, and outside activities, as well as access to services such as transportation, tutoring, food services, and medical care and equipment. Local funding partners were highly committed to alleviating the stress of — and returning childhood to — this hidden population.

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