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The number of children who are living with a grandparent or other relative has increased dramatically in the past two decades. More than 5 percent of all children in the United States live in such arrangements. Rising divorce rates, teenage pregnancy, child abuse or abandonment, and parental substance abuse, health problems, death, or incarceration are some of the factors linked to this trend.
The Federal Government recognizes the vital role many of their employees play in the lives of their grandchildren or other relatives when they assume the role of parent to these children. There are many ways to provide support to employees at minimal cost, such as providing information and resources; offering counseling; establishing a workplace support group; and sponsoring special events. The benefits to organizations of offering such programs are improved morale, work performance, and retention; and decreased tardiness and absenteeism. The benefits to the employees' families, as a result of the information and support they receive through work/life programs, can also be significant.
This compilation of resource materials includes background information to help understand this phenomenon, and information about organizations that support grandparents and other relatives raising children; publications; videotapes; support groups; talking points for preparing proposals and speeches; related websites; and work/life programs in the Federal Government.
Definition: "Kinship care is the full time care, nurturing and protection of children by relatives, members of their tribes or clans, godparents, stepparents, or any adult who has a kinship bond with a child. This definition is designed to be inclusive and respectful of cultural values and ties of affection. It allows a child to grow to adulthood in a family environment."See Child Welfare League of America's website on Kinship Care in Child Welfare.
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AARP Grandparent Information Center (support group referrals, publications, and information)601 E Street, NWWashington, DC 20049202-434-2296
The Brookdale Foundation126 East 56th Street, 10th FloorNew York, NY 10022212-308-7355
Child Welfare League of America (CWLA)440 First Street, NWWashington, DC 20001202-638-2952
Generations United440 First Street, NW, Suite 310Washington, DC 20001202-662-4283
National Aging Information CenterAdministration on Aging330 Independence Avenue, SW, Room 4656Washington, DC 20201202-619-0724
United States Department of Health and Human ServicesAdministration for Children and FamiliesOffice of Child Support Enforcement370 L'Enfant PromenadeWashington, DC 20447
A support group for grandparents or other relatives raising children can be an effective way of disseminating information, sharing resources, and providing support. They may be faced with legal, financial, child care, and emotional issues that seem overwhelming when faced alone. A support group provides a means of addressing many of these issues in a small group setting where personal information will be kept confidential. The OPM publication, Establishing A Work-Site Parenting Support Group, will give you all the information you need to set up a support group in your agency.
Information about existing support groups for grandparents raising grandchildren is available from the AARP Grandparent Information Center at 202-434-2296, or local human service agencies.
Boksay, I. (1998, January 15). Grandparents face unusual problems in raising grandchildren. News-Star Online. Retrieved March 30, 2000.
Harden, A. W., Clark, R. L., & Maguire, K. (1997). Formal and Informal Kinship Care. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Retrieved March 30, 2000.
Kleiner, H. S. & Hertzog, J. (1998). Grandparents Acting As Parents. Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service. Retrieved March 30, 2000.
United States Department of Commerce. (1998). Co-resident Grandparents and Their Grandchildren: Grandparent Maintained Families, (P23-198). Washington, DC: Bryson, K. & Casper, L. M. Retrieved March 30, 2000.
Woodworth, R. S. (1997). It's Not the Same the Second Time Around: Grandparents Raising Grandchildren. Washington, DC: ZERO TO THREE: National Center For Infants, Toddlers and Families. Retrieved March 30, 2000.
Woodworth, R. S., Dabelko, H., & Hollidge, M. (1998). Respite Services to Support Grandparents Raising Grandchildren, (ARCH Factsheet 45), National Resource Center for Respite and Crisis Care Services. Retrieved March 30, 2000.
Many other books on the general topic of grandparenting are also available.
The Beatitudes Center for Developing Older Adults Resources. Grandparents' Guide - Helping to Raise Your Children's Children. General guide, available at no cost from The Beatitudes Center for Developing Older Adults Resources, 555 W. Glendale Avenue, Phoenix, AR, 85021-8799, 602-274-5022 or Blue Cross/Blue Shield at 602-864-4276.
Callander, J. (1999). Second Time Around: Help for Grandparents Who Raise Their Children's Kids. BookPartners, Inc. Tool kit of information and support for grandparents. ISBN: 1581510217
Carson, L. (1996). The Essential Grandparent: A Guide for Making a Difference. Health Communications, Inc. General grandparenting book for grandparents. ISBN: 1558743979
Cox, C. B. (1999). To Grandmother's House We Go and Stay: Perspectives on Custodial Grandparents. Springer Publishing Co. Comprehensive treatment of issues of custodial parents by experts for professionals. ISBN: 0826112862
Crumbley, J. & Little, R. L., (Eds.). (1997). Relatives Raising Children: An Overview of Kinship Care. Washington, DC: Child Welfare League of America, Inc. Comprehensive guide for professionals. ISBN: 0878686843
De Toledo, S. & Brown, D. E. (1995). Grandparents as Parents: A Survival Guide for Raising a Second Family. Guilford Press. A comprehensive reference book for grandparents and professionals. ISBN: 1572300305
Doucette-Dudman, D. & Lacure, J. R. (1997). Raising Our Children's Children. Fairview Press. Discussion of social, legal and emotional issues of grandparents with stories of real families. ISBN: 1577490266
Fay, J. & Cline, F. W. (1996). Grandparenting With Love and Logic: Practical Solutions to Today's Grandparenting Challenges. Cline/Fay Institute, Inc. Includes a chapter on raising grandchildren. ISBN: 0944634060
Gabel, K. & Johnston, D. (1997). A Program for Grandparent Caregivers. In Children of Incarcerated Parents (Chapter 16). The Free Press. Material of interest to professionals. ISBN: 0029110424
Hanks, R. (1997). Connecting the Generations: Grandparenting for the New Millennium. Warren Featherbone Company. Interactive format in a general grandparenting book for the baby boomer generation. ISBN: 0965510719
Houtman, S. & Rowland , B. (Ed.). (1999). To Grandma's House We--Stay: When You Have to Stop Spoiling Your Grandchildren and Start Raising Them. Studio 4 Productions. Guide for parenting a second generation of children with practical solutions to real-life problems. ISBN: 1882349059
Humphrey, J. H. (1998). Helping Children Manage Stress: A Guide for Adults. Child Welfare League of America. ISBN: 0878686681 Available for $12.95 from CWLA c/o PMDS, 9050 Junction Drive, PO Box 2019, Annapolis Junction, MD, 20701-2019, or by telephone at 800-407-6273 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kornhaber, A. & Forsyth, S. (1994). Grandparent Power: How to Strengthen the Vital Connection Among Grandparents, Parents, and Children. Crown Publishing Group. All aspects of grandparenting with a section on grandparents raising grandchildren covered with resources in appendix and extensive bibliography. ISBN: 0517598051
Kornhaber, A. (1996). Contemporary Grandparenting. Sage Publications. A comprehensive synthesis of current knowledge about grandparents and their role in families and society with a chapter on raising grandchildren. ISBN: 0803958064
Minkler, M. & Roe, K. M. (1993). Grandmothers As Caregivers: Raising the Children of the Crack Cocaine Epidemic (Family Caregiver Applications Series, Vol. 2). Sage Publications, Inc. A resource for professionals. ISBN: 0803948476
Poe, L. M. (1992). Black Grandparents as Parents. Po, Lenora Madison. A discussion of the many issues facing grandparents responsible for raising their grandchildren because of parental addiction. Appropriate for grandparents and professionals. ISBN#0963399209
Pudney, W. & Whitehouse, E. (1996). A Volcano in My Tummy - Helping Children to Handle Anger. New Society Publishers, Limited. Stories, games, and exercises to help 6 to 15 year olds handle their anger. ISBN: 0865713499
Takas, M. (1998). Relatives Raising Children. New York, NY: Brookdale Foundation Group. This book is included in the resource kit listed below. It is a wonderful guide for relatives raising children. You can order it from the Brookdale Foundation Group, 126 East 56th Street, New York, NY, 10022, or by telephone at 212-308-7355 for $4.00 to cover the cost of shipping.
Westheimer, R. K. & Kaplan, S. (1998). Grandparenthood. Routledge. A comprehensive resource, advice, and information guide for all grandparents with a chapter on grandparents as parents. ISBN: 0415919487
United States Consumer Product Safety Commission. A Grandparents' Guide for Family Nurturing & Safety. Washington, DC: Dr. T. B. Brazelton & A. Brown. For a free copy, contact the Consumer Information Center at 719-948-4000, and ask for Item 606.
United States Office of Personnel Management and Link to Benefits Administration Letter. (December 18, 1998). Benefits Administration Letter Number 98-209, Federal Employees' Group Life Insurance: Public Law 105-3111 - Foster Children and Miscellaneous Updates. Washington, DC.
United States Office of Personnel Management and link to the Federal Employees Health Benefits Handbook . Federal Employees Health Benefits Program: A Handbook for Enrollees and Employing Offices. Retrieved March 30, 2000.
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