Help for Youth Caregivers

"One of the unique aspects of this work has been the transformation of the children over a period of time. We have kids in our program who are graduating this year who began with us in sixth grade."—Connie Siskowski, Director, Caregiving Youth Project

Dates of Project: July 2007 through June 2011

Field of Work: Support for young caregivers in grades 6 through 12

The Work. Caregiving youth bear significant responsibility for parents, grandparents or siblings who are ill or disabled. These youth are often isolated, unable to participate in age-appropriate activities, and do poorly in school.

The Caregiving Youth Project identified middle-school students in Palm Beach County, Fla., most in need of support and provided in-school counseling, respite care, outside activities, and links to existing services such as transportation, medical care and equipment, food services, and tutoring.

Keith [not his real name] “has grown up within the Caregiving Youth Project support system. Tutoring as well as many other activities helped to transform his life. During these seven years, his mom has also had three back surgeries and he has always stepped up to the plate to keep his home going."—Connie Siskowski, Director, Caregiving Youth Project

Key Results

  • The project expanded from two to eight middle schools and was directly serving 395 youth caregivers and their families by the end of the grant period.

  • Project staff made more than 800 referrals for appropriate community, medical access, and medical services assistance.

  • The project reached more than 10,000 students plus school staff through in-school classes and lunch-and-learn sessions.

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Caregiving Youth Project in FL helps school-aged youth who care for elderly, ill or disabled family members