Kinship Care

Grandparents raising grandchildren

Grandparents with grandchildrenDoes anyone know a grandparent that doesn’t have a ready photograph (or several) of their grandchildren to share? There is so much joy in the faces of grandparents when they talk about visiting their grandkids or meeting their newborn grandchild for the first time. We often hear them say that it’s a different relationship because they get to spoil their grandkids and then go home. They get to spend extra money on them that they may not have had to spend on their children. But not all grandparents get to spoil their grandkids and then go home. They instead turn into full time caregivers—parents a second time around, guardians of their grandkids due to unforeseen circumstances.

What happens when grandparents raise their grandchildren?

Most of the circumstances when grandparents (or other relatives or friends) become full-time caregivers of children are hard for both the kids and the older adult. Maybe the parents have passed away, have struggles with drugs or alcohol, or live in prison. Now the grandparents find themselves raising another generation of children. Times have changed so much since they raised their children that some grandparents feel a gap in understanding, social expectations, technology and many other aspects of life. Perhaps the grandparent has a limited, fixed income and now has additional expenses of raising children.

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