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.
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.
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.