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Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Participants Needed for a Brief Survey of School Counselors’ Awareness of Caregiving Youth

Dear FSCA Members,

I am an undergraduate student in the Honors College of the University of South Florida conducting a study for my Honors Thesis to identify the awareness and experience that Florida’s school counselors have with caregiving youth. Caregiving youth are children ages 6-17 who provide substantial assistance to older or younger relatives or household members who need help because of physical or mental illness, disability, substance misuse, or other conditions. These caregiving responsibilities often have negative effects on a child’s school performance, physical and mental health, socialization, and overall well-being. Although the United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia have a history of conducting research to develop national policies, scant attention has been paid to this hidden population of child caregivers in the United States.

If you are currently employed or were employed within the past five years as an elementary, middle, or high school counselor, I would greatly appreciate your participation by taking a brief 5 question survey with yes/no answers to help us assess the awareness and experience of Florida’s guidance counselors about this issue. Added commentary for responses is welcome but not necessary.

The survey is entirely anonymous, no identifying or personal information is collected, and it should take only 2-3 minutes to complete. Completing the survey signifies that you are participating voluntarily and that you are currently or have been employed as a school counselor.

Participants have 3 interview options. The interview can be completed online, at, by phone, or through email using the contact information below.

The interview questions are:
1.  Have you or any of your colleagues ever discussed or spoken about children who have caregiving responsibilities?
2.  Have you ever read anything in professional literature about caregiving youth?
3.  Do you have any experience with students in this type of situation, who are or were caring for relatives or other household members?
4.  Has your school (or the last school you worked at) developed any policies concerning children with caregiving responsibilities?
5.  Do you know of any schools that have developed any policies concerning children with caregiving responsibilities?

Your participation in this effort will be deeply appreciated.

Elizabeth Loyer
(941) 587 – 5728

This research study is being conducted for the purposes of an undergraduate Honors College thesis under research mentor Dr. Donna Cohen. The study has been approved under the University of South Florida’s Institutional Review Board, IRB #20211. For more information about caregiving youth, please visit the American Association of Caregiving Youth website at

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