Children’s and young people’s caring responsibilities within the family

Ruth Evans and Saul Becker

in Children caring for parents with HIV and AIDS

Published by Policy Press

Published in print March 2009 | ISBN: 9781847420220
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447301769 | DOI:
Children’s and young people’s caring responsibilities within the family

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This chapter reviews the literature on childhood responsibilities, informal care, and young caregiving and introduces key theoretical perspectives, such as the social construction of childhood and youth, the ethic of care, and risk and resilience discourses, which are drawn on in the analyses of children's and young people's caring responsibilities in families affected by HIV/AIDS. It notes that the significance of the family as both an institution of welfare and for caregiving, exists almost irrespective of the country's familial, social, and sociopolitical structures, although what is expected of family members and what they must do as carers is related to the formal and informal resources available to families. The chapter explains that while there is a high degree of acceptance when adults take on unpaid caring roles, children's and young people's involvement in caring for parents and relatives in the global North and in the global South challenges norms of childhood and youth.

Keywords: childhood responsibilities; informal care; young caregiving; HIV/AIDS; family; global North; global South; norms of childhood

Chapter.  14714 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Health, Illness, and Medicine

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