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The article aims at introducing the reading of a monographic section dedicated to different empirical studies on young (children, adolescents or young adults) caregivers, young recipients and care leavers in the Italian context. They are faced with adverse circumstances, on the one hand because they have to provide too early and too much help to family members in need of care; on the other hand, because they find themselves on the borderline of the established care system or forced to leave it and manage their own lives as if they were already adults. Here we outline the contours of the problems faced by young people in contemporary societies and clarify what are the elements that distinguish them when they are involved in problems of care. Referring to the contributions in the monographic section, open questions are identified and some paths of action and further research are highlighted.