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Diversity Group Project Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Social Work 1222 Presented By Ruby Gilmore, Sherryl Bohna, Da Wen, and Joanne Boley March 17.

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Presentation on theme: "Diversity Group Project Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Social Work 1222 Presented By Ruby Gilmore, Sherryl Bohna, Da Wen, and Joanne Boley March 17."— Presentation transcript:

1 Diversity Group Project Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Social Work 1222 Presented By Ruby Gilmore, Sherryl Bohna, Da Wen, and Joanne Boley March 17 th, 2006

2 Introduction: The grandparent-grandchild relationship can be beneficial for both grandparents and grandchildren. However when grandparents take responsibility for raising grandchildren, they can be presented with both challenges and problems. The grandparent-grandchild relationship can be beneficial for both grandparents and grandchildren. However when grandparents take responsibility for raising grandchildren, they can be presented with both challenges and problems. The households with only grandparents and grandchildren and no middle generation are called Skip-generational households; the households with at least three generations are called Mutigenerational households (Milan & Hamm, 2003, p.4) The households with only grandparents and grandchildren and no middle generation are called Skip-generational households; the households with at least three generations are called Mutigenerational households (Milan & Hamm, 2003, p.4) Our presentation focuses on the skip-generational households. We will explore the following areas of Canadian skip-generational households where grandparents raise their grandchildren: Our presentation focuses on the skip-generational households. We will explore the following areas of Canadian skip-generational households where grandparents raise their grandchildren:  Demographics  Culture and History  Social Issues and Challenges  Needs and Effective Interventions

3  Population of Canadian Skip-generational Families  The Distribution Features of Skip-generational Families in Canada  The Current Trends of Canadian Skip-generational Families Demographics of Skip-generational Families

4 Population of Canadian Population of Canadian Skip-generational Families  5.7million grandparents in Canada in 2001  474,499 grandparents who shared households with their grandchildren including multigenerational and skip-generational families.  1% of grandparent who lived in skip-generational households in 2001 accounted for about 12% of the grandparents who shared households with their children.  Skip-generational grandparents in 2001 were 67% women and 50% were married, and 46% were retired.  Average 2 children in each Skip-generational family and over 44% of children were aged 14 or under in these households. (Spotlight: Grandparents, 2004 ) (Spotlight: Grandparents, 2004 )

5 The Distribution Features of Skip-generational Families in Canada Canadian Grandchildren in Skip-Generational Households Newfoundland/Labrador 0.7 Prince Edward Island0.5 Nova Scotia0.6 New Brunswick 0.5 Quebec0.2 Ontario0.3 Manitoba0.9 Saskatchewan1.2 Alberta0.6 British Columbia0.5 Yukon0.5 Northwest Territories1.3 Nunavut2.3 ( Milan & Hamm,2003, p.5) ( Milan & Hamm,2003, p.5)

6 The Current Trends of Canadian Skip- generation Families Between , there was a 20% increase in the number of Canadian children under 18yrs old who were living with there grandparents without a parent present In the home. Between , there was a 20% increase in the number of Canadian children under 18yrs old who were living with there grandparents without a parent present In the home. (Fuller-Thompson, 2005, p.331)

7 Culture and History In Canada  The Reasons Why Grandparents Raise Grandchildren in Skip- generational households  Aboriginal Cultures and Values  Immigrant Cultures and Values  Social Norms and Social Roles Grandparents Take On

8 The Reasons Why Grandparents Raise Grandchildren in Skip-generation households Grandparents assume the caregiver’s role to grandchildren because of the parents’ inability or unwillingness to care for their children. Possible reasons may include : Grandparents assume the caregiver’s role to grandchildren because of the parents’ inability or unwillingness to care for their children. Possible reasons may include :  Substance abuse  Divorce or separation  Mental health problems  Teen pregnancy  Child abuse or neglect,  Death of an adult child (Grinstead,Leder,Jensen,& Bond, 2003,p.318) (

9 Aboriginal Cultures and Values  Aboriginal children aged 14 and under are more likely to live with grandparents. In Nunavut, the proportion of children raised only by grandparents was more than five times the national average (Milan & Hamm, 2003, p.4).  Grandparents provide care in response to crisis, such as alcohol and drug addiction or imprisonment of the grandchildren’s parents ( Fuller - Thomson,2005,p.333).  Weibel – Orlando (1997),grandparents relish the role of “cultural conservator” and actively seek out the opportunity to parent or co- parent grandchildren in order to enhance children’s understanding of traditional ways and values (as cited in Fuller -Thomsom,2005, p. 333).

10 Immigrant Cultures and Values Our research found that with most immigrant families were mutigenerational and not skip-generational families. Our research found that with most immigrant families were mutigenerational and not skip-generational families.  Multigenerational households were more common among the immigrant population, especially those from Asian countries (Milan & Hamm, 2003, p.4).  Immigrants were twice as likely as the Canadian-born to live in multigenerational families (Milan & Hamm, 2003, p.4).  Milan & Hamm reported that immigrant multigenerational families particularly from certain ethnic or cultural backgrounds, may experience a clash in values between the traditional family ideals of the older generation and the Western values that may have been adopted by the children (2003, p.4).

11 Social Norms and Values  To assist kin-children in their right to live in a stable, safe and secure environment with loving kin-families and not in foster homes with strangers (Cornelius,2004).  To provide kin-children encouragement, moral, emotional and practical support (Cornelius, 2004).  Cohort difference for appropriating child-rearing (Hayslip & Patrick, 2003, p.257).

12 Social Roles grandparents Take On Social Roles grandparents Take On Positive Roles:  Findings suggest that grandparents should be strongly encouraged to play a significant role as caregivers to their grandchildren.  Custodial grandparents can help their grandchildren to move beyond experiences of rejection and loss.  Provide the role of physical and emotional care giver, as a consistent presence in the child’s life (Hayslip & Patrick, 2003,p.28).  Grandparents willingness to take in their grandchildren is a reflection on the strong values and importance of family (Stats.Canada, 2001).

13 Social Roles Grandparents Take On Social Roles Grandparents Take On Negative Roles  Angry over loss of freedom and future  Angry dealing with biological parents  Fear of future  Sense this is not “my” job. (Hayslip & Patrick, 2002, p.61).

14 Social Issues and Challenges  Social Attitudes Towards Grandparents in Skip-Generation Families  Social Problems Experienced by Grandparents in Skip-Generation Families

15 Social Attitudes Towards Grandparents in Skip-Generation Families  Financial plight of grandparent caregivers worsened by inequitable treatment by government agencies. Grandparents received only a fraction of funds received by non kin foster caregivers.  Lack of access to legal, health, insurance and social security needs.  Less ability to obtain services from schools for remedial or behavioral problems. (Grinstead,2003 p.319,321,322)

16 Social Problems Experienced by Grandparents in Skip-Generation Families  Grandparents raise grandchildren at high risk  Physical Problems--- Age and physical concern that they would not live long enough to raise their grandchildren (Kelley & Yorker, 2001, p.27). Age and physical concern that they would not live long enough to raise their grandchildren (Kelley & Yorker, 2001, p.27).  Psychological Problems--- Exhaustion was a common mental health concern Exhaustion was a common mental health concern Stress was found to the strongest predictor of depression and self – assessed health problems (Grinstead,2003, p.319,321). ) Stress was found to the strongest predictor of depression and self – assessed health problems (Grinstead,2003, p.319,321). )  Financial Problems--- Lack of access to financial and other resources was another major stressor for caregiving grandparents. Lack of access to financial and other resources was another major stressor for caregiving grandparents. Grandparents families were more likely to live in poverty and no health insurance (Grinstead,2003, p.321). Grandparents families were more likely to live in poverty and no health insurance (Grinstead,2003, p.321)..

17 Social Problems Experienced Con’t  Legal Problems--- Enrolling grandchildren in school, obtaining health insurance, medical insurance or social security benefits can be difficult for grandparents because of lack of legal documentation (Grinstead,2003 p.321). Enrolling grandchildren in school, obtaining health insurance, medical insurance or social security benefits can be difficult for grandparents because of lack of legal documentation (Grinstead,2003 p.321)..  Social Restrain --- Little time to spend socializing with peers.Time and financial restraints leave these grandparents unable to fulfill their retirement dreams (Grinstead,2003, p.319,321,322). Little time to spend socializing with peers.Time and financial restraints leave these grandparents unable to fulfill their retirement dreams (Grinstead,2003, p.319,321,322)..

18 Needs and Effective Interventions  The General Attitudes of Grandparents in Skip-generational Families Toward Helpers  Grand Parents’ Needs In Skip-generational Families  Effective Intervention Approaches for Social Workers Working with Skip-generational Families  Spiritual Support to Grandparent Families  Resources are Available To Skip-generational Families

19 The General Attitudes of Grandparents in Skip- generational Families Toward Helpers  The greatest gift would be to hear ---“I know how much you have lost” --- and to know that there are those in the service community and elsewhere who truly understand the sacrifices that have to be made when one assumes custody of a grandchild.  Caregiving grandparents are skeptical in participating in support groups. (Hayslip & Patrick 2003,p.65-70)

20 Grand Parents’ Needs In Skip-generational Families Grandparents have diverse needs:  Adequate daycare and other community services.  Access to healthcare, parenting classes.  Access to legal counseling.  Access to respite care.  Needs for more recognition and financial assistance.  To involve grandchildren and other family members in services. (Hayslip & Patrick, 2002, p.84)

21 Intervention Approaches for Social Workers Working with Skip-generational Families  Using strengths-based case management practices  Assessing family strengths  Referring to other social resources: Daycares, Playgroups, Grief Support Group, Community Programs…  Developing an action plan for grandparent families  Initiating home visit  Access to legal and financial information services (Kelley & Yorker, 2001, p.27) (Kelley & Yorker, 2001, p.27)

22 Spiritual Support to Grandparent Families Spiritual Support to Grandparent Families Our research limited us to information based upon a Judeo-Christian background: Our research limited us to information based upon a Judeo-Christian background:  Involvement with church members and prayer supplied caregivers with solace and comfort. ( Grinstead, 2003, p.321) ( Grinstead, 2003, p.321)  Grandparents spoke of prayer as a coping strategy which provided them with strength when everything seemed hopeless and other support had failed. (Grinstead,2003, p.321)  Religions God’s presence in the daily lives of grandmothers’ brought strength and support. (Grinstead,2003, p.322) (Grinstead,2003, p.322)

23 Resource Challenges  Inadequate external funding and institutional support  Poor treatment from government agencies has been a financial fight for grandparent caregivers (Grinstead, 2003 p.321).  Foster caregivers and non-kin caregivers received more financial aid than grandparent caregivers. Lack of access of needed service was the reasoning (Grinstead, 2003, p.321).

24 Resources and Agencies For Grandparent Families   City of Calgary Community Resources  C. A. R. P. Canada’s Association for the Fifty Plus  Canadian Association of Retired Person  Books  Pilgrim Prayers for Grandmothers Raising Grandchildren Linda Holmes the Pilgrim Press 2002 Linda Holmes the Pilgrim Press 2002  To Grandma’s House, We… Stay; When You Have to Stop Spoiling your Grandchildren and Raise Them Sally Houtman Sudio 4 Productions  Grandparents as Parents a survival Guide for Raising a Second Family, Slyvia De Toledo Guilford Press 1995

25 A Personal Response From Joanne’s Friend Hi Joanne: There doesn't seem to be anyone at the time that can help us with our grandchildren. We don't get much help from their Dad, Now none since he lost his main job. none from their Mom who always wants to see them on their birthday, her birthday, Christmas, Easter and Thanksgiving. This I find frustrating. They don't really want to see her at all. Our dentist and staff are very supportive however this may not be the case now that Mark doesn't have them on his insurance since loss of job. I just found a doctor who is taking new patients and made appointments. Most of the people in our church say we are great to do this. Our grandsons have been turned against the catholic church by their mother and others in all the churches they attended over the years. They attend church with us but don't like it. We cannot talk to them about religion. We don't get much chance to go out and do anything fun but we realize that what we are doing is very worthwhile. The kids are coming along nicely. Jeremy started work at Safeway's down on 8th street and 11th avenue s.w. I want him to start to save for college/university. My mother is great. She is in assisted living is smart and gets around really well with her walker. We try to visit her once a week. So that is an added burden. One which we do enjoy and love her very much. Life is very busy and hectic. We also help all our other children when they need help with babysitting etc. I also have a lot of people for suppers which I enjoy. I wanted to get the boys into sports but they didn't want to. Josh took one series of swimming lessons. I guess this is not as short as I thought it would be. Cheers! Joan Joan

26 References 1. Milan, A., & Hamm, B. (2003). Across the generations: Grandparents and grandchildren. Retrieved from Statistics Canada, March1,2006 from 2. Spotlight: Grandparents. Retrieved from Statistics Canada, March 1, 2006 from 3. Kelley, S. J., & Yorker, B.C. (2001). A Multidimensional Intervention for Grandparents Raising Grandchildren: Results of an Exploratory Study. Journal of Child Welfare. Retrieved March 1, 2006,from MRC database. 4. Hayslip, B.,& Patrick, J. (Ed.). (2002). Working With Custodial Grandparents. New York: Springer Publishing Company. Grandparents. New York: Springer Publishing Company.

27 References 5. Grinstead,L. N.,Leder, S., Jensen,S., & Bond, L. (2003). Integrative Literature Reviews and Meta-Analyses. Michigan:Blackwell. 6. Fuller-Thompson, E. (2005). Canadian First Nations Grandparents Raising Children: A Portrait of Resilience. Aging and Human Development, 60(4), Cornelius, B. (2004). Presentation for the Brockville Business Ladies Luncheon. Retrieved March 13, 2006,from


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