In November 2017, The Change Foundation hosted Ontario’s first Young Carers Forum – bringing together 20 young carers and over 60 professionals, policy makers and researchers to talk about priority actions needed to support young carers in the important role they play in health care, in society and at home.
Throughout the day young carers were asked to share their experiences, journeys, and stories, so that we can all work together to drive meaningful change. For many of the young carers, the forum was the first time they had ever interacted with other young carers, the first time they were asked about their experience, and the first time they felt like the experiences they were sharing could make a difference.
Through the discussions, the following five priority areas for action were identified and voted on by all participants:
- Increase awareness and understanding of young carers.
- Work on better ways to identify young carers and link to the education system
- Build an alliance of young carers organizations
- Work with the Ontario government to ensure that young carers are included from the outset of the new caregiver organization
- Influence an inter-ministerial and inter-governmental collaboration to support young carers
Working in partnership with caregivers and health care providers, our goal at The Foundation is to fundamentally change the way the health care system interacts with caregivers, and shine light on the vital but often unrecognized role of family caregivers, including young carers.
Voices of Ontario’s Young Carers
Highlights from Ontario’s First Young Carers Forum
Ontario young carer Liam answers –
Why is raising awareness about young carers important?
Ontario young carers Amy & David answer –
What do you want other young carers to know?
Ontario young carer Stephane answers –
What advice do you have for other young carers?
Ontario young carer Alissa answers –
How do you cope with being a young carer?
- Metro Morning (Emily’s young carer story)
- Metro Morning (The Foundation’s Christa Haanstra speak to CBC’s Metro Morning about Young Carers and The Foundation’s role)
- CBC.ca/Up North (Alissa’s young carer Story)