“Grandparents raising their grandchildren: Acknowledging the experience of grief.”

Backhouse, Jan, and Anne Graham. Australian Social Work 66, no. 3 (2013): 440-454.

This article looks at feelings of grief among grandparents who are raising their grandchildren because their own children are unfit parents. The authors conducted a series of in-depth interviews with 34 grandparents across Australia to analyze how these grandparents they navigate the complex issues that characterize their unexpected new life role. Although all of the grandparents interviewed in this study responded with the benefits, joy and satisfaction that come along with caring for their grandchildren, they also indicated deep feelings of grief and loss when considering the circumstances of their caregiving. The authors use the results of this study to discuss grandparent grief in the context of psychology’s grief theory. They also argue that too often grandparent grief goes unnoticed in policies, programs, and services developed to support grandparents-as-parents in Australia.