Grandparents Raising Grandchildren—What They Need and How to Help
The opioid crisis has resulted in a dramatic uptick in the number of children being removed from the custody of their parents. Many of these children end up in the care of relatives. Currently around 7.8 million children reside in grandparent-led households. While evidence-based treatment for substance use disorder is capturing national attention, less focus has been given to the many families grappling with the collateral damage of their loved one’s struggle with addiction. This has begun to change with the passage of the bipartisan “Supporting Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Act” in July.
To better inform future policies aimed at providing services and support to grandparents raising grandchildren, Altarum funded data collection about grandfamilies both in Michigan and nationally. Led by social psychologist Christine Stanik, PhD, the resulting report focuses on grandparents raising grandchildren—identifying their perceived needs and barriers to obtaining services, exploring the possible burden of the opioid crisis in this population, and offering recommendations to support and improve outcomes for underserved grandfamilies.
Primary data collection began during the summer of 2018. The first phase of this study sought to shed light on the lived experience of grandfamilies though in-depth interviews with 20 grandmothers living across the state of Michigan. The second phase explored emerging themes from the interviews with a broader sample through an online survey of 1,015 grandparents raising grandchildren nationwide.
Read the full report.