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Associate Professor Elizabeth Olson first learned about “young carers” while conducting a large research project about youth religiosity in the United Kingdom. She found herself working with a group of young women under the age of 18 who had caregiving responsibilities in their homes. For most families, and particularly those with scarce household resources, young people may provide significant amounts of direct and indirect caregiving in households with parents, grandparents, or siblings with chronic illness, disability, or other health conditions. When she joined UNC in 2012, she discovered that youth who are caregivers in the U.S. are not recognized in the same way as they are in the U.K., where they receive services intended to remove barriers to education and enhance wellbeing for them and their families. Over the past years, she has been building networks of researchers, educators, social workers, and other practitioners in North Carolina and across the U.S. to better understand how youth caregivers might be supported here. Learn more about her work, the young carers involved in the project and her collaborations here: 

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