Title

The Voices of Grandparents: Views on Support Services When Raising Grandchildren

Department

Social Work

Date of Paper/Work

2013

Degree Name

Master of Social Work (M.S.W.)

Type of Paper/Work

Clinical research paper

Advisors

Pa Der Vang

Abstract

The current trend in foster care has shifted toward kinship care, also known as relatives caring for relatives. In many cases, this relationship involves grandparents caring for their grandchildren. While it is not the first time these grandparents are parenting, they face new challenges the second time around. The purpose of this study was to determine what support services grandparents viewed as most beneficial in caring for their grandchild. A total of four grandparents and two great grandparents were interviewed for this qualitative study in order to determine their personal experiences as a kinship caregiver reaching out for support. Data was then coded and several themes emerged. Types of services used included counseling, and reaching out to others for support. Other themes also surrounded positive and negative feelings and beliefs about being in the parenting role again. While some of the findings matched well with previous literature, new areas for future study were also discovered including fear for the future of a grandchild and facing rejection from others after taking in a grandchild. These findings suggest the need for a variety of formal and informal supports that address the needs of grandchildren and grandparents. Advocating for changes in the system and process can provide caregivers with the tools necessary to find their voice in this experience.

Keywords

kinship care, grandparents, support services

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.