US Lacks Support Network For Child Caregivers

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Child Caregivers

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While other countries have dedicated "decades to the study of child andadolescent caregivers" resulting "in a network of support services andadvocacy groups," the U.S. has focused more on care for the elderlythan on the caregivers, the Cleveland Plain Dealerreports. At least 1.3 million children ages eight to 18 serve ascaregivers for a disabled family member, according to a 2005 studyreleased by the American Association of Caregiving Youth and the National Alliance for Caregiving.Many child caregivers who need help often hide the need for or resistassistance "for fear their parents will feel guilty," the Plain Dealer reports.

According to Nancy Law, vice president of program services at the National Multiple Sclerosis Society,said that while her organization provides services to families in need,"[f]amilies in other situations may not have such a logical touchpoint. There's no central point for families to turn to." ConnieSiskowski, director of AACY, said, "We have a lot of catching up to do"(Teuscher, Cleveland Plain Dealer, 8/27).

Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org. Youcan view the entire Kaiser DailyHealth Policy Report, search the archives, and sign up for email deliveryat kaisernetwork.org/email. The Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, afree service of The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.

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