The American Association of Caregiving Youth® (AACY) is the national resource for children who sacrifice their education, health, well-being and childhood to provide care for family members who are ill, injured, elderly or disabled. AACY combines systems of healthcare, education and community to provide needs-driven services in school, out of school and at home. With support caregiving youth are no longer alone, progress to the next grade level, graduate from high school and become healthy productive adults. The ultimate goal is for no child in the US to drop out of school because of family caregiving responsibilities.
Core Values of AACY – Collaboration, Compassion, Empowerment, Innovation, Responsiveness
Vision of AACY – that every youth caring for ill, injured, elderly or disabled family members will achieve success in school and life.
Mission of AACY – to increase awareness and provide support services for youth caregivers and their families by connecting them with healthcare, education and community resources.
AACY began in 1998 as Boca Raton Interfaith in Action with funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to provide volunteer support services to homebound persons and caregiving families. In 2005 the corporation's name was changed to Volunteers for the Homebound and Family Caregivers.
In recent years, research in Palm Beach County identified an otherwise hidden population of child caregivers and their concomitant academic challenges. Findings from the 2005 Young Caregivers in the US report indicating there are at least 1.3 million child caregivers ages 8-18 years, plus the 2006 Silent Epidemic supported the County research. The latter, documenting that among young adults who had dropped out of school for personal reasons, 22% dropped out to care for a family member.
The first US Caregiving Youth Project (CYP) began in 2006/07 in partnership with The School District of Palm Beach County. To date it has regionally enrolled more than 1,100 students and has many more yet to serve. The CYP team provides services to students and works to strengthen families from sixth through twelfth grades.
In order for the organization to focus solely on youth caregiving and address an unmet need for an un-served population, adult services were transferred to a local non-profit organization by the end of December 2009. Effective January 1, 2010 the name officially changed to the American Association of Caregiving Youth®.
The American Association of Caregiving Youth (AACY®) is a Florida based 501 (c) (3) non-profit corporation.
* 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
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