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Welcome to the Caregiving Youth Development and Policy Lab at Tufts University, led by Dr. Emma Armstrong-Carter, PhD.

Our goal is to bring recognition and support to children and adolescents under age 18 who are caregiving for their family members in the United States. We are partnering with schools, districts and state departments of education nationwide to identify and support caregiving youth.

Caregiving youth — children and adolescents who provide ongoing care for aging, ill, or disabled family members — are a rapidly increasing population in the US. Unlike England, Canada, and Australia, the US does not yet formally acknowledge or support caregiving youth within educational systems or social services. An estimated 1 in 5 children are involved in caregiving.

Many schools want to support these students, but it is not always clear how to do so. In partnership with local schools, districts and states, we support schools’ efforts to:

  1. Identify the number of students who are caregiving locally.
  2. Gain insight into the challenges that caregiving youth face by examining disparities in their wellbeing and educational success.
  3. Explore opportunities for supporting caregiving students locally in schools and community-serving organizations, designing and evaluating educational policies at scale.

We collect data in two ways, depending on schools needs and priorities: (1) large scale quantitative surveys (2) in depth qualitative interviews, in partnership with Dr. Elizabeth Olson at UNC and the American Association of Caregiving Youth.