Grandfamilies- grandparents providing sole care for grandchildren
7 million grandparents live with grandchildren under 18 and 39% provide primary care
experience stressors such as chronic conflict between grandparent and adult child.
strain on family resources due to having and additional child in the home
burden increased if child has physical or behavioral problems
anxiety and depression are frequently addressed as mental health concerns
Many grandparent care-givers live below the poverty line
exhaustion, high levels of stress, anxiety, and depression
Systems theory focuses on how everything is connected. An emphasis of this is the ecological perspective, which focuses on the person and their environment. The macro perspective connects the grandparent with their community and their support systems, also known as the social environment. In the micro context, it focuses on the grandparent and grandchild relationship. We must be aware how other systems affect our relationships.
Benefits of raising grandchildren
Can enhance sense of purpose
increase in health due to a more active lifestyle keeping up with grandchildren.
Brings joy to their lives
Gives second chance at parenting.
Sense of pride and accomplishment
New leash on life.
satisfaction of providing to the family in a time of need and serving as a role model
Patients and residents everyday in more than 1000 locations in 23 states.
Benefits for children:
feelings of safety, security and stability, and able to maintain contact with family
Supports for grandparents raising grandchildren
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
Supportive social networks increase mental health
Support groups help with day-to-day stressors
Volunteering can help buffer negative effects of stress
Volunteering also increases levels of self-efficacy satisfaction, life purpose, and reduce depressive symptoms
Grandparents can receive help in navigating these benefits by partnering with a Kinship Care System Navigator (KCSN).
The Grandparents Information Center (sponsored by the American Association of Retired Persons) provides information, referrals and support
needed to develop coping mechanisms
offers direct resources
"Support doesn't mean you can't do it, it means you don't have to do it alone." -Diane Schrage (Straszheim, 2013)
The Supporting Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Act will identify and provide information about resources and best practices to caregivers to meet the health, educational, nutritional, and other needs of children in their care as well as maintain their own physical and mental well-being
Role of Social Worker
What can a Social Worker do for you?
Social workers help to examine the relationships between the grandparent and the grandchildren as well as the environment to determine how each affect each other
For those that fear the stigma associated with the child welfare system, they can assist in finding the resources that those without a KCSN struggle to find and establish
Grandparents raising their grandchildren can reach out to social media groups to find support from others going through the same thing
Facebook provides many support groups for this population. In the search bar on facebook type in "grandparent raising grandchildren," and many groups will show up
Grandparents raising grandchildren uploaded by GRCCtv provides a keynote speech and panel discussing this topic
@PantryofBroward is a twitter page for seniors living on low, fixed incomes, and grandparents raising grandchildren