chapter  9
18 Pages

Formal Social Support: Promoting Resilience in Grandparents Parenting Grandchildren

With the recent growth in the number of grandparents who are parenting their grandchildren (Kreider & Ellis, 2011), grandparents’ successes and challenges have come to the attention of a variety of practitioners and service providers. Custodial grandparents experience a number of stressors that can benefit from both formal and informal support including financial difficulties, legal problems, and physical and mental health concerns (Hughes, Waite, LaPierre, & Luo, 2007; Minkler & Fuller-Thomson, 1999; Minkler, Fuller-Thomson, Miller, & Driver, 1997). Grandparents may also need assistance obtaining housing and home modifications, finding services for their grandchildren, and meeting the family’s nutritional needs. Additionally, as grandparents take on new roles and responsibilities with their custodial grandchildren, they may also struggle with social isolation, parenting stress, and grandchild behavior problems

(Hayslip & Kaminski, 2005; Hayslip, Shore, Henderson, & Lambert, 1998; Jendrek, 1993; Jendrek, 1994).