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Children as caregivers

Evans, R. ORCID: (2013) Children as caregivers. In: Handbook of Child Wellbeing. Springer, pp. 1893-1916.

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1007/978-90-481-9063-8_173


Caregiving is usually associated with adults’ responsibilities. Official statistics and research have demonstrated, however, that many children and young people in the global North and South have substantial, regular caring responsibilities for family members with chronic illnesses, impairments or other care needs. This chapter conceptualises children’s roles as ‘caregivers’ and the care work they do. It then analyses the available evidence on outcomes of children’s caregiving and the factors and processes influencing their involvement. While research reveals that caregiving may have positive as well as negative outcomes for children’s well-being, formal and informal safety nets are needed, especially in resource-limited settings, to alleviate children’s care work. Children’s and families’ experiences suggest that social protection measures and support for those being cared for as well as those providing care would help to ensure that caregiving does not have long-term negative impacts on children’s personal development, education, health, family relations, peer interactions, social participation, employment opportunities and socially expected transitions to adulthood.

Item Type:Book or Report Section
Divisions:Science > School of Archaeology, Geography and Environmental Science > Human Environments
Science > School of Archaeology, Geography and Environmental Science > Department of Geography and Environmental Science
ID Code:34954
Uncontrolled Keywords:Young carers/ caregivers Global childhoods Continuum of care Outcomes of young caregiving Risk and protective processes Ethic of care Transitions to adulthood


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