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Children and young people as active agents in care-giving: Agency and constraint

Smyth, C., Cass, B., Hill, T.,

Academic Literature


This paper envisions children and young people who provide informal care to family members with illness or disability as active agents within the care relationship, whilst emphasising that this agency operates within constraints. These constraints include familial and kinship obligations, socio-economic and demographic circumstances and policy and service constraints. This paper examines the costs incurred and benefits conferred by young people who provide care. It presents the findings from an analysis of Australian national data on young people who provide informal care. It also presents some findings from focus groups conducted with young people involved in informal care-giving. The paper concludes with a discussion of the policy implications of the research.

Publication information

Journal/Publication : Children and Youth Services Review

Location : Australasia

Domain/s: Health and wellbeing, Safety and security

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