Caring for young caregivers

Young caregivers are especially vulnerable to social isolation, mental health challenges and lower educational attainment. For the estimated 47% of young carers who attend classes, chronic lateness, absenteeism, insufficient time for assignments, anxiety and problems focusing can make balancing schoolwork and caregiving a challenge. Nationwide, an estimated 7% of young carers leave formal education early and the situation may be especially urgent in Northern Canada; in 2006 an estimated 46% of youth in the Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut provided some form of unpaid care to others. Young carers are a diverse group, with varied experiences and needs. This webinar will explore the challenges faced by young caregivers who are struggling to balance higher education and caregiving duties. We will discuss helpful policies, strategies and accommodations that can be made for students, as well as provide external resources to support them.

Andrea Breen is an Assistant Professor of Family Relations and Human Development at the University of Guelph. Her research focuses on storytelling and implications for well-being, resilience and social change; and the use of technology to enhance well-being in children, youth and families. Dr. Breen completed her Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology and Education at OISE/UT. She also holds a master’s degree in Risk and Prevention from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and a Bachelor of Education degree from McGill University.

Michaella Miller is an undergraduate student at the University of Waterloo and self-identified young caregiver for two family members. Michaella is part of the Young Carers Working Group at The Change Foundation and is an active advocate.

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