The American Association of Caregiving Youth (AACY) is the only national resource in the United States dedicated to supporting all children aged 18 and under who are caring for chronically ill, injured, elderly, or disabled family members.
AACY Stakeholder Newsletter | March 2023
As we close the first quarter of 2023, we thank you, our friends, supporters, and funding partners. Because of you, we continue to directly serve 505 Caregiving Youth in 35 Palm Beach County middle and high schools and students in 22 other local middle and high schools; there are many more yet to serve.  

As a reminder, the children in our Caregiving Youth Project are in the top three of five Levels of Responsibility based on what they do and how much time they spend in caregiving each week. For most, it is more than a part-time (unpaid) job! 

2023 is a very ambitious year for AACY. We've set big goals, and with your help and others yet to join aboard, we will achieve them. 

We are pressing the accelerator on direct service reach in Florida, US legislative efforts, local and national partnerships, and affiliate expansion. We have served as the only voice for all Caregiving Youth in the United States for over 16 years now, and It's time to fulfill our goal for no child in our country to have to drop out of school because of family caregiving responsibilities! 

On behalf of those we serve, thank you again for your support.
PS: I hope you'll consider joining us for our Caregiving Youth Institute Conference on Monday, April 17, 2023. It's not too late to register for this free event!
Virtual Caregiving Youth Institute Conference
The State of Caregiving Youth in the US: Research, Policy, and Practice

Join AACY'S Caregiving Youth Institute for its annual conference featuring experts in research, programs, and policies for Caregiving Youth.

Free Virtual Conference
Monday, April 17, 2023
1 PM – 4 PM EST

| Thank you for being a part of the first-ever Caregiving Youth Action Day USA! 

We wanted to take a moment to express our heartfelt thanks to each of you for participating in Caregiving Youth Action Day USA in support of Young Carers Action Day in the UK. Your dedication to young caregivers is truly inspiring and will undoubtedly make a difference in the lives of many young people, over 5.4 million in the US, who care for their family members.
In this video, Andy McGowan, Policy and Practice Manager (Young & Young Adult Carers) at Carers Trust; Public Affairs and Policy Advisor at Our Time; and Founder of the Young Carers Alliance, presents an overview of the Young Carers Action Day movement.
The video then moves on to celebrating Caregiving Youth Action Day in the USA! We had participants from AZ, CA, CO, FL, HI, IL, NC, NJ, NYC, TX, UK, and VA who support and champion caregivers and want to do more! We invite you to listen to the stories of our youths' daily lives, their challenges, and the opportunities they've created for themselves from their experience. 
Together, we must keep fighting and bringing awareness to Caregiving Youth/Young Carers worldwide!
| AACY Caregiving Youth Project (CYP) Activities Update
During Spring Break, we had two artistic workshops. First, an Art Workshop with Smita from Manipura Care Network where we made our own garden dreamscapes, learned origami, and explored the different career paths as an artist! Thank you, Smita, for your time, materials, and care! 

After that, we had our singing workshop, where we all got to sing a song and get positive feedback and vocal instruction from Laura Angelini on improving our voices. Thank you, Laura, for donating your time, talent, and studio! 
| Rep. Frankel announced that AACY, by the end of the summer, will be receiving new federal funding to help reach more Caregiving Youth in need of support.

What a special honor to have precious time with US Rep. Lois Frankel at Bear Lakes Middle School! She was happy to meet six of our Caregiving Youth and learn more about what they do and how they feel... they are the lucky ones; they are supported in and out of school and at home through the services of the AACY Caregiving Youth Project!

Rep. Frankel announced that AACY, by the end of the summer, will be receiving new federal funding to help reach more Caregiving Youth in need of support.

Caregiving families are non-partisan so her slogan of People Over Politics is so appropriate for our work. We must achieve state and federal recognition on their behalf - please join us!
| GAO Survey - Still in Process

Last issue, we announced that Congresswoman Lois Frankel - along with Reps. Barbara Lee (CA) and Bobby Scott (VA) recommended to the GAO (U.S. Government Accountability Office ) to conduct a national study on the prevalence and impacts of caregiving by youth was accepted. The GAO provides Congress, the heads of executive agencies, and the public with timely, fact-based, non-partisan information that can be used to improve government and save taxpayers billions of dollars. The significance of this is that once the GAO study is complete, we can use that data to expedite dollars and programs to benefit over 5.4 million caregiving youth in the country. Now that the study is approved, we are waiting on a start date and working to expedite the process.
| We are pleased to announce the ongoing improvements and evolution of our website,
Visitors to our website should notice an evolving and subtly fresh new look with updated fonts, photos, and program descriptions, without us having to incur the financial and human resource burden of creating a completely new online presence from scratch. We are improving what we currently have page by page.

These modifications exhibit AACY's unwavering commitment to offering elevated descriptions of our resources and more engaging content for people to understand better what we do for the young caregivers we assist.

Through these updates, AACY aims to raise further awareness about the pivotal role of Caregiving Youth in our communities and entice additional interest in funding, partnership opportunities, and support, to ensure that these young people receive the assistance they require to thrive through our organization.

There is still a long way to go but check back often for continued progress. Little by little, we are making things better every day as time allows.
| AACY Caregiver Awards Breakfast Promotional Appearance CBS12:

"I'll be out there emceeing at the Boca Marriott!" - Matt Lincoln, News Anchor at WPEC

Many thanks to Matt & the whole team at WPEC-TV CBS12 News!
Pictured - Connie Siskowski, Founder American Association of Caregiving Youth (AACY) & Debralyn Belletieri, AACY Board Chair
| Caregiving Youth to Salute Four Champions at Honors Breakfast in Boca:
Many thanks to The School District of Palm Beach County for creating a new video on our program | "Thousands of secondary students in Palm Beach County, and millions nationally, are responsible for the care of an ill or elderly family member. The American Association of Caregiving Youth offers support at school and at home."
Here are a few ways you can support AACY!
  • Attend our upcoming events
  • Become a corporate sponsor
  • Make a donation to honor a loved one and put their name on the American Association of Caregiving Youth Wall of Recognition. This makes a great present.
  • Share AACY News with your legislators and representatives.
  • Invite the AACY team to educate others in your life and/or work.
  • Donate HERE
  • Check out our Wishlist!
  • Donate to our laptops for students fund. We hope to be able to purchase laptops for students who do not have the privilege of taking them home and completing their homework. Your gift is 100% tax-deductible!
  • Please follow us on social media. It is especially helpful to comment on our posts on LinkedIn. When you comment on an AACY post - your comment will show up to others in your LinkedIn Network and potentially help us get additional quality followers and donors. Even posting an emoji helps!
Mandy’s Perspective (Mandy is a Former Caregiving Youth)

"My brother Isaac is medically complex—diagnosed with a neurodevelopmental disorder that resulted in serious disabilities and developmental delays. He has cerebral palsy, is legally blind, has a seizure disorder, and breathes through a tracheostomy. Isaac is unable to verbalize his needs. He relies on his wheelchair to move around with the help of his caregivers. Isaac is fed and receives his multiple medications through a gastrostomy tube.

My mom worried that I wouldn’t be able to provide Isaac with the care he needed. So, when I was old enough to understand how his machines worked, or how to properly give him medication, she started sharing more of the responsibility with me. I started caring for Isaac when I was 11 and he was 8 years old. I assisted with his feeding, changing, and bathing. I helped with mobility and managed and administered his medications. I provided companionship and emotional support.

I wanted to help in any way I could and give my mom peace of mind when she had to leave the house so that she would know he would be in good hands with me..."

"How did I fit it into my schedule? Well, I really didn't! Caring for my brother was a lifestyle, and it was all I ever knew. It came naturally to me, so I did not have to adjust for him; it was our everyday life. We worked around Isaac's schedule and his needs. Having someone that relies on you for basically all their needs can become very stressful and overwhelming. Most of the adults in my life, other than a handful of people, did not know what my home life was like..."

Full Report: Recognize and Support Caregiving Youth in Your Care
Mandy Rivera; Brianna Bliss, MS, PsyD; Connie Siskowski Siskowksi, RN, PhD; Julia Belkowitz, MD, MPH | American Academy of Pediatrics Publications:

Many Thanks to Our Partners: