The suffering goodness: an overview on experiences and needs from a group of young caregivers

Paola Limongelli

This article is aimed at prompting a preliminary reflection on young caregivers in Italy. These children, under the age of 18, regularly provide assistance to their family’s members (co-resident or not) with care and supervision needs. Carrying out regular care work during childhood results in significant consequences for their psycho-physical health. Although they perform a crucial role in their families, young caregivers are hidden in our society. Considering the special features of the phenomenon, a research was conducted with the aim to underline young caregivers’ characteristics. A focus group was created based on participatory research with students from a junior high school in the Municipality of Milan (Italy). The research highlights the motivations and consequences of these caregiving activities and the needs of some young caregivers in Italy.


Young caregivers, childhood, care work, consequences and needs, social work practices.