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The American Association of Caregiving Youth (AACY®) is a Florida based 501 (c) (3) non-profit corporation that began serving the greater Boca Raton community in 1998. Today AACY® is the only organization of its kind in the United States for addressing the issues surrounding the silent, vulnerable and hidden population, conservatively estimated to exceed 1.4 million children, who provide care for family members who are unable to manage life independently.
The AACY® mission is to increase awareness about the effects on children who provide care for family members who are ill, injured, elderly and/or disabled while fostering the replication of the Caregiving Youth Project model within Florida and the US; to provide direct and indirect support services for caregiving youth and their families; and, to establish the Institute on Youth Caregiving.
AACY® addresses the needs of pre-teens, teens, families, and professionals through education and awareness, research, and direct services. It collaboratively utilizes existing resources locally, regionally, and nationally to effectively recognize and support the vulnerable and valuable role a caregiving youth has within the family, in the health delivery system and in an aging and diverse society. AACY® is expanding its reach through an affiliate network, partnerships and the future establishment of the Caregiving Youth Institute.
AACY®’s model program, the Caregiving Youth Project (CYP), works in partnership with the School District of Palm Beach County and currently serves more than 500 caregiving youth and their families in 8 area middle schools and 17 high schools. The mission of the CYP is a) Increase awareness of caregiving youth issues throughout the Palm Beach County health and education communities; b) Identify and prioritize students in greatest need of services through eligibility and assessment; c) Reduce anxiety, depression and increase caregiving children's satisfaction with life and the ability to remain in school through the provision of counseling, education, and support services including respite and sponsored activities; and d) Conduct in-home evaluations to link and strengthen families with existing support services.
* To establish an affiliate network of Caregiving Youth Project Partners throughout the United States
* To work with education systems to find innovative solutions so that caregiving youth can be successful in their academic lives
* To partner with health care in the early identification of caregiving youth and their families
* To replicate within the U.S. system supportive program tools using the models of success in the United Kingdom & Australia
* To provide resources for pre-teens, teens, families and professionals about issues and help for caregiving youth
* To create a web-based network of counseling, support and skills building for caregiving youth
* To educate professionals about caregiving ramifications on student development and achievement
* To connect into support networks already in place for caregivers
* To sponsor respite relief including camp for caregiving youth