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Who cares about young carers? Raising awareness for an invisible population

Young Carers are young people who provide significant care to family members because of illness, disability, or other challenges. While Young Carers are found in every classroom in Canada, they are too often invisible to their teachers and others who could provide support when needed. Because of this, Young Carers may not receive the care they need. When properly supported, young caregiving can be a positive life experience. But without proper support, Young Carers can run into educational, health and social barriers that can last a lifetime. These barriers translate into costs and lost opportunities for Young Carers and for society. This report introduces Young Carers to Canadians and calls for three first steps to improve conditions for Young Carers across the country: increased awareness, improved data collection and research, and a multi-sector effort to support Young Carers in their communities. Drawing on international examples, the report suggests tangible actions on each of these fronts.