More than a quarter of Canada’s youth are young carers. Young carers are often involved in several aspects of a family member’s care and can be affected by the situation in many ways themselves. To support young carers, the health system must recognize, listen to, and consider young carers as valuable members of the care team.
Young Carers Awareness: Who Are They & What Can You as a Provider do to Support them? is a resource document that illustrates some quick statistics about young carers and features tips for healthcare professionals to consider when a young carer is involved in caring for a patient/client.
To give young carers a platform to share their perspectives, experiences and stories, you may consider creating a Young Carer Advisory Committee. A useful tool to communicate the committee’s purpose, request consent and explain the confidentiality agreement is a Statement of Understanding document. Take a look at Embrace’s Young Carer Advisory Committee Statement of Understanding as an example.
Many young carers do not identify themselves as a caregiver – they are just helping to take care of a loved one. To both educate and spark interest, the Embrace project has created a two-pronged awareness campaign that facilitates young carers in self-identifying as a caregiver and incentivizes joining the committee. Thinking about engaging with young carers, take a look at the Embrace project’s engagement opportunity flyers.
Explore the work The Change Foundation leads on Ontario’s Young Carers.