Young Carers Initiative
The Young Carers Initiative has been supporting the wellbeing and resilience of young carers and their families in Haldimand, Norfolk and Niagara since 2003. Young carers are the hidden population of family caregivers and include children, youth, and young adults who provide care for a family member due to a chronic illness, disability (physical or intellectual), mental health issue, addiction issue, or socioeconomic factor (single parent family, language barrier, etc.). In addition to a caregiving role, young carers may also experience the emotional impact of a family member needing their support. Recent research shows that young carers are at greater risk of depressive symptoms, lower self-esteem and higher levels of loneliness and anxiety when compared to their non-caregiving peers. One recent study from Brock University shows that young carers provide on average 14 hours per week while almost ¼ spend 3 to 6 hours per day, which is equivalent of a part-time job.
Our program called Powerhouse Project offers a variety of free services and activities to empower young carers and give them respite from their caregiving responsibilities. All of our services aim to reduce isolation and caregiver fatigue, alleviate stress and anxiety, and invest peer support. Everything we do is focused on helping young carers achieve future success.