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American Association of Caregiving Youth Stakeholder Newsletter | October 2023

I would like to recognize and thank Paul Wynn and Next Avenue for their important article on Grand Caregivers. I appreciate the specific recognition of Caregiving Youth, many of whom help provide care for grandparents in their home while covering this important caregiving topic.

This article highlights the challenges and rewards of caring for a grandparent. It is also a reminder that caregiving can take on many different forms and that even small acts of support can make a big difference.

We encourage everyone to read this article and share it with others. Together, we can help to raise awareness of the important role of grand caregivers within the Caregiving Youth population and the need to recognize and support them. 

Thank you.

P.S., My heartfelt gratitude goes out to our generous donors. Thanks to your support, we've been able to make a small contribution to assist Caregiving Youth in Hawaii, who have been affected by the recent fires.

| Grand Caregivers: Lessons Learned While Caring for Grandparents

Wynn, Paul. “Grand Caregivers: Lessons Learned While Caring for Grandparents.” Next Avenue, 15 Sept. 2023, https://www.nextavenue.org/grand-caregivers-lessons-learned-while-caring-for-grandparents/.

| Coffee Hour talk to focus on intricate topic of 'ableism' and caregiving youth

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Elizabeth Olson, (AACY Caregiving Youth Research Collaborative member) professor of geography and environment and professor of global studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, will present "Theorizing Ableism and Care Through the Everyday Geographies of Caregiving Youth," at the Department of Geography's Coffee Hour lecture series. Her talk will be held at 3:30 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 20, in 112 Walker Building on the University Park campus and via Zoom.

In her talk, Olson will explore the intricate concept of ableism, which is described by the American Psychological Association as prejudice and discrimination aimed at disabled people. Olson will focus on the biases and discrimination individuals with disabilities face. Grounding her theoretical exploration, she will share findings from her research that investigates the daily life experiences of young caregivers in Palm Beach County, Florida, who support family members with medical conditions, age-related issues, or disabilities.

| AACY Caregiving Youth Project | Innovative and Exemplary Respite Program

We are pleased to announce that the AACY Caregiving Youth Project Respite has been renewed as an Innovative and Exemplary Respite Program by the ARCH National Respite Network and Resource Center for an additional three years through 2026. Many thanks to Jill Kagan and the team for recognizing and supporting Caregiving Youth.

It is hard to even begin to imagine that children, who are also students, are thrust into the complexities imposed by caregiving responsibilities! They have no experience bank, and like many adults, they receive little education about the “how tos” of caregiving, yet more and more children are in this role… and they need respite too! 

We are excited to announce a formal agreement between the Rhode Island Department of Education (RIDE) and AACY. Dr. Connie Siskowski has been working collaboratively with members of the RIDE team, Stephen Osborn and Olivia Smith, along with Caregiving Youth researchers Dr. Elizabeth Olson of UNC Chapel Hill and Dr. Emma Armstrong-Carter of Tufts, for more than a year. Collectively we look forward to increasing recognition of Caregiving Youth and providing resources to Rhode Island high schools to better support Caregiving Youth across the State of RI.

| AACY National Advisory Council News

  • Dr. Feylyn Lewis of Vanderbilt University gave an issue defining TedX Vanderbilt Talk on Caregiving Youth - the link is available here.
  • We welcome new Advisory Council member, Brian Duke - Former Secretary Pennsylvania Department of Aging
  • The Advisory Council membership page has been updated to include bios/photos and is located here.
  • We have updated our Caregiving Youth Resources page to include sharable program collateral, an up-to-date list of U.S. Organizations Providing Direct Services for Caregiving Youth, videos, links to relevant scholarly articles, and more. We invite you to use this resource to advocate for the kids and to contact us with any additions.

| The International Community Speaks Up for Caregiving Youth in the United States

An impactful statement by Professor Saul Becker. He was kind enough to let us share it.

"Professor Saul Becker is Pro-Vice-Chancellor for the Faculty of Health and Education. | Saul is regarded as a world leader for young carers’ research, policy and practice having pioneered this field and worked with children and young adults with caring responsibilities for 30 years. He has been awarded 56 research awards as Principal Investigator from multiple sources. He has 570 publications and invited keynote conference papers, including 18 books, and advises governments, policy makers and practitioners around the world on family carers issues, especially young carers.

Alongside his MMU role, he is Ambassador for Carers Trust; a Registered Social Worker, and Community Organiser; and Chair of Her Royal Highness the Princess Royal’s Respite Fund for Carers. He and his work have featured in 9 television documentaries. Saul was a young carer in his childhood." - The Manchester Metropolitan University

| Caregiving Insights Episode 20: Caregiving Youth - Hidden In Plain Sight

My Care Friends Founder/CEO Todd "TJ" Keitz (AACY National Advisory Council Member) sits down with AACY Founder/President, Connie Siskowski to learn more. Caregiving Insights Episode 20: Caregiving Youth - Hidden In Plain Sight | "There are over 5.4 million caregiving youth in the U.S. and countless others around the world. Childhoods are altered and often missed out entirely for these kids. The U.K. is light years ahead of the U.S. when it comes to supporting them. How can the U.S. be better? Who is identifying these kids, how are they supported now, and who is advocating for them?

| Evergreen Article | Medication administration by Caregiving Youth: An inside look at how adolescents manage medications for family members

*Acknowledging the strain that caregiving responsibilities place on middle and high school kids is crucial, as recognition and identification of this hidden population are key to creating change.* - Margaret Nickels, Connie Siskowski, Cynthia N. Lebron, Julia Belkowitz, Journal of Adolescence, Volume 69, 2018, Pages 33-43, ISSN 0140-1971

Link to article here.

| Holly Wilson, 2023 SOROPTIMIST Women of Distinction Nominee

Meet Holly Wilson, our AACY Volunteer Nominee for Soroptimist Women of Distinction. Holly has made an extremely positive impact on AACY. She knows that respite and relaxation are so important for young caregivers. They need a break, just like adult caregivers. As a mentor, Holly engages, teaches, and provides her caregiving mentee with many fun respite opportunities to experience the good things life can offer.

| AACY Caregiving Youth Project Respite Activities

The AACY Caregiving Youth Project students had an amazing time bowling at AMF Boynton Beach Lanes | Respite activities are important for Caregiving Youth because they provide a much-needed break from the demands of caregiving. Caring for a loved one with a lot of health needs can be physically and emotionally draining, and respite activities can help to reduce stress, improve mental health, and promote overall well-being.

Family Day Picnic | Recently, the CYP team partnered with the UnitedHealthcare Community Plan to sponsor a Back to School Supply Event at their Family Day Picnic. This event provided fun activities and food plus gave 50 students the opportunity to receive a backpack full of school supplies, which will provide them with resources for a good head start as a new school year begins. 

| AACY Caregiving Youth Ali Speaks at Fundraising Event

We had a remarkable evening at Dr. Ana Benedetti Orthodontics in Fort Lauderdale! Dr. Ana Benedetti and her colleague, Dr. Charmaine Johnson, organized a wine-tasting fundraiser for AACY, setting up tables and chairs in the waiting room, where 60 guests were seated and each given a wine glass with the AACY logo.

During the event, Ali, pictured above with her sister, and Drs. Siskowski and Johnson, is a middle school Caregiving Youth, who shared her story. A silent and live auction along with wine sales provided proceeds dedicated to supporting children who are family caregivers.

The guests also enjoyed delicious food donated by Zuckerello's Italian Grill, a neighbor, and were treated to music by a talented high school student.

Special thanks go out to AACY Board Treasurer Laura Jones, whose daughter received exceptional dental care from Drs. Benedetti and Johnson. Laura introduced us to these two remarkable dental professionals who genuinely care about children!

Upcoming Local Fundraising Events & Activities

| On the Deck at Galuppi’s

Join AACY for a night of live music on the deck at Galuppi's on Monday, November 13, 2023. To learn more about the event, or purchase tickets click here.

| Caregiving Youth Project Holiday Party

To learn more about this event, volunteer, or donate click here.

| AACY Annual Hearts & Soles Gala

To learn more about this event, sponsor, or purchase tickets click here.

| KENDRA SCOTT EVENT November 15th

Shop for AACY in person or online!

Kendra Scott Event: Wednesday, November 15, 2023, 4 PM – 7 PM, Mizner Park, Boca Raton. 20% of all proceeds will directly benefit the American Association of Caregiving Youth. Click here for more information.

| You Can Make a Difference!

| Here Are a Few Ways You Can Support AACY!

  • Support the FL Caregiving Youth Act!
  • Commit to a Monthly Donation
  • Attend a Fundraising Event (Locally)
  • Become a Business/Corporate Sponsor
  • Donate to honor a loved one and put their name on the American Association of Caregiving Youth Wall of Recognition - great present!
  • Speaking Engagements – connect the AACY team to local or national events where we can educate audiences on Caregiving Youth.
  • Volunteer to support our students and programs
  • Follow us on social media – like, share, and comment on AACY's LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram posts.
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