“Grandfathers and the impact of raising grandchildren.”

Bullock, Karen. J. Soc. & Soc. Welfare 32 (2005): 43.

This article explores the understudied population of grandfathers caring for their grandchildren. Using data gathered from a study of grandfathers in a rural community in North Carolina, the author looks at how grandfathers experience feelings of powerlessness and instability in their roles as caregivers for their grandchildren. The author argues that special attention, through services and policies, should be afforded to older men who step into the role of caretakers.


“The impact of formal and informal respite care on foster, adoptive, and kinship parents caring for children involved in the child welfare system.”

Madden, Elissa E., et al.Child & Adolescent Social Work Journal (May 23, 2016).

This paper summarizes the results of a quantitative survey that explored the impact and utilization of respite services among kinship, foster and adoptive parents. Specifically, the study looked at parents’ opinions on the impact of respite care on aspects of their life: including family cohesion and stability, childcare, and parents’ personal wellbeing. The author’s results point to mixed experiences with respite care: parents’ utilization of informal versus formal respite care, or a combination of both, culminated in different degrees of positive benefits and stress-reduction.

“Latino families in the nexus of child welfare, welfare reform, and immigration policies: Is kinship care a lost opportunity?”

Ayón, Cecilia, Eugene Aisenberg, and Andrea Cimino. Social Work 58, no. 1 (January 2013): 91-94.

This article cites the rapidly growing number of Latino children in the child welfare system as an indicator the necessity for kinship policy aimed at the needs of the U.S. Latino population. The authors argue that kinship care aligns with Latino family culture and the often increased stability it brings to children’s lives is a positive thing as it can also to keep them out of the system. However, they insist that child welfare policies have largely failed to adequately deal with the complex issues facing the Latino community: including mixed documentation status in families, high rate of poverty and cultural ideas and practices. They propose a reform of kinship licensing policy and the development of culturally sensitive practice and policy as solution to this problem.

“Post-permanency service needs, service utilization, and placement discontinuity for kinship versus non-kinship families”

Liao, Minli, and Kevin R. White.  Children And Youth Services Review 44, (September 2014): 370-378.

This article compares quality of life between kinship and non-kinship post-permanency families. Specifically, the authors compared service needs and service utilization in these two types of families in the aftermath of achieved permanency. Through their research, the authors highlight a few significant findings: There exist substantive differences in socio-demographic characteristics for children and caregivers in kinship placements as compared to those in non-kinship placements. Furthermore, Kinship caregivers reported fewer needs and sought fewer services than non-kinship caregivers. Reasons for placement failure were somewhat consistent between kin and non-kin placements and included child behavior problems, adoptive versus guardianship placement, and the marital status of caregiver.

“Kinship and nonrelative foster care: The effect of placement type on child well‐being.”

 Font, Sarah A.  Child Development 85, no. 5 (September 2014): 2074-2090.

This article compares the academic achievement, behavior, and health of children in formal kinship care to children in nonrelative foster care, with the purpose of examining the effects of placement type. Utilizing a national sample of 1,215 kin and foster children, the authors found their results to vary: they consistently estimated a negative effect of kinship care placement on child reading scores but in math and cognitive skills, and even health, there was no substantive difference between children in different placement types.


“What’s in A Name? Defining and Granting A Legal Status to Grandparents Who Are Informal Primary Caregivers of Their Grandchildren.”

Meara, Kathleen. Family Court Review 52, no. 1 (2014): 128-141.

This article discusses the various challenges informal grandparent caregivers face because of their lack of legal recognition: including consenting for their grandchild’s educational and medical needs and receiving government financial assistance. Furthermore, as many of these types of grandparent-caregivers live on a fixed or limited income like social security, current government assistance programs often fail to adequately provide financial support for grandfamilies. The author of this article proposes a key solution for states to better provide legal status for grandparents raising grandchildren. The solution entails all states adopting a de facto custodianship statute to create a legal status for grandparents informally raising their grandchildren so they can provide for the child’s needs and receive financial assistance.

“An attachment perspective on grandparents raising their very young grandchildren: Implications for intervention and research.”

Poehlmann, Julie. Infant Mental Health Journal 24, no. 2 (2003): 149-173.

This article applies the attachment theory to grandfamilies in which grandparents are raising very young grandchildren. The article’s aim is to examine the complexity of intergenerational relationships and to guide early support services and research concerning these types of families. The author proposes that, as grandparents take responsibility for their grandchildren, three relationship processes simultaneously occur: (1) disruptions in attachments potentially occur, especially in relationships involving parents, (2) attachment relationships between grandchildren and grandparents develop or are revised, and (3) family members’ internal working models of attachment and caregiving are challenged and shaped

“Grandmothers Raising Grandchildren With Disabilities Sources of Support and Family Quality of Life.”

Kresak, Karen E., Peggy A. Gallagher, and Susan J. Kelley. Journal of Early Intervention 36, no. 1 (204): 3-17.

In this article, sources of support and quality of life of 50 grandmother-headed families raising grandchildren with and without disabilities are examined. Comparative analyses revealed significant differences between grandmothers raising grandchildren with and without disabilities in regard to sources of support and family quality of life. Informal support was significantly higher for grandmothers raising grandchildren without disabilities. In addition, grandmothers raising grandchildren without disabilities rated satisfaction with all aspects of family quality of life except parenting as significantly higher than grandmothers raising grandchildren with disabilities. Correlational analyses showed a moderate correlation between sources of support and family quality of life for both groups of grandmothers. While total informal social support was significantly correlated with satisfaction ratings of family quality of life for both groups of grandmothers, total formal support was significantly correlated with satisfaction ratings of family quality of life only for grandmothers raising grandchildren with disabilities. Multiple regression analyses revealed a significant relationship between presence of child disability and satisfaction ratings of family quality of life (Journal of Early Intervention).

“Justifications for caregiving in White, Asian American, and Native Hawaiian grandparents raising grandchildren.”

Yancura, Loriena A. The Journals of Gerontology Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences 68, no. 1 (2013): 139-144.

This study examines relationships between race/ethnicity and the reasons and expectations for caregiving in Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and White GRG (grandparents raising grandchildren). The authors used a sample of 259 GRG within a local public school system and provided the participants with a modified version of the 10-item Cultural Justifications for Caregiving (CJCG) scale. Two analytic factors of the scale, custom and responsibility, produced meaningful results: with Native Hawaiian GRG having significantly higher scores than White or Asian American GRG. Native Hawaiian GRG also scored higher than Asian American, but not White, GRG on responsibility. The authors conclude that race/ethnicity does predict justification for grandparents raising grandchildren.


“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.