Happy Senior Couple

GRANDPARENTS AS CAREGIVERS FACE UNIQUE CHALLENGES

Grandparents as caregivers face many challenges and need support to prevent caregiver burnout while providing a happy home for their grandchildren.


Acting as a caregiver is often unplanned and stressful. Grandparents have their own financial and health concerns to cope with before adding caring for their grandchildren. Additionally, generational differences can be a barrier when raising the child.

Other Challenges

  • Lack of information/support: Studies have found that child welfare caseworkers tend to provide less information to kinship foster caregivers than to non-kin foster parents and that kinship foster caregivers receive fewer services. It is hard to navigate the legal, financial, and governmental bureaucracies.

  • Complicated change: Your own feelings may be all over the place, but you are not alone. Many grandparents feel a combination of resentment, love, anger, and sadness in these situations. Taking care of yourself is important.

  • Your own health problems and age may make you less able to do the things you were able to do when you were raising your own children.

  • Changing social relationships: You now have more responsibility, and your free time might be spent going to the grandkid’s activities or taking them to appointments. It may be hard to find balance.

  • Finances: Kids are expensive, and you may not know where to look for more financial support. Senior housing is often adult-only.

 
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NEEDS YOU MAY HAVE AS A GRANDPARENT PROVIDING KINSHIP CARE

  • Education: training to update parenting skills, guides to community resources, childcare centers, drug and alcohol education, and financial counseling

  • Emotional support: support groups, short term respite, family counseling

  • School district services: ongoing communication between schools and grandparents

  • Financial support: stipends, medical and dental coverage for grandchildren, affordable childcare

  • Legal advocacy: options for custody, guardianship, and legal counsel

  • Housing support: housing alternatives, senior housing that allows grandkids to live there as needed

  • Public awareness: broaden outreach, provide training for communities and schools

FACTS ABOUT GRANDPARENTS AS CAREGIVERS

  • 57,476 children in Wisconsin are living with their grandparents

  • 26,895 grandparents are responsible for their grandchildren

  • In the United States, almost 8% of children are being raised by their grandparents and 10% of grandparents are raising their grandchildren full time.

Image by Jaddy Liu
 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

KINSHIP CARE RESOURCE KIT

GRANDPARENTS AS PARENTS

CHALLENGES AND BENEFITS FOR GRANDPARENT CAREGIVERS