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This project examines the childhood geographies of youth caregivers under the age of 18 years old. Every day in the United States, more than 1.4 million youth caregivers support family members who have a chronic illness, disability, or other health issue that requires help, supervision or support. Youth caregivers often assume responsibilities such as cooking and cleaning. They may also support basic activities of daily living such as assisting in mobility, dressing, feeding, and administering medication. Like adult caregivers, youth caregivers encounter a diversity of social, cultural, and geographic or spatial impacts which vary according to the type and intensity of care they provide to a loved one. However, unlike adult caregivers, youth in the United States tend not to be recognized for the care that they provide. Furthermore, there are few public programs that provide support for their distinct needs. As pressure upon family caregivers intensifies in the U.S. with the aging of the population and projected shortages of paid care workers, young people are likely to play a larger role in providing support, comfort, and assistance to family members. Drawing upon participatory methods, oral histories, diaries and archival research, the study enhances an ongoing partnership with the American Association of Caregiving Youth, and with youth caregivers living in Palm Beach County, Florida.

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