Let’s test your knowledge on kinship care and grandparenting.
How many of you know what kinship care means? If you don’t, that’s okay! Kinship care is used to describe a situation where a child lives with a relative outside of his or her own home. This situation could be short term or long term. Kinship care nurtures and supports the idea of a child living with a relative to alleviate family stress/problems and to prevent the placement of this child in a foster care system.
Did you know that children in kinship care have fewer behavioral and social skills problems than children in foster care? Children in kinship care are also more likely to be living with kinship caregivers who are likely to be single, unemployed, older, in poorer health, and live in poorer households. Kinship caregivers (grandparents included) receive far fewer services than foster caregivers as well.
Kinship care should be the first option for many families when a child (or children) have to be removed from their immediate families and homes. In many cases, grandparents are the first to file kinship care requests. 2.9 million children in the United States are being raised by a grandparent. That means that of the 1 in 10 children living with a grandparent, 4 in 10 of those children are being raised by a grandparent. 54% of these grandparents have been raising their grandchildren for more than three years. Of these grandparents, 1/3 are 60 years old or older.
Kinship care and grandparenting go hand in hand. Did you know that grandparents who are in contact with grandchildren experience decreased memory loss, decreased depression, and increased life satisfaction? Also, did you know that children who have relationships with their grandparents have a better sense of self and more self-esteem? Finally, parents who have relationships with grandparents cope better with stress.
Information provided by:
Pew Research Center. (2010). Since the Start of the Great Recession, More Children Raised by Grandparents. Retrieved from: http://pewsocialtrends.org/files/2010/10/764-children-raised-by-grandparens.pdf
Sakai, C., Lin, H., & Flores, G. (2011). Health Outcomes and Family Services in Kinship Care: Analysis of a National Sample of Children in the Child Welfare System. Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, v.165 (2), 159-165. doi: 10.1001/archpediatrics.2010.277
Find Law. Summaries of State Law: Grandparent Visitation and Custody. Retrieved February 25, 2011, from http://family.findlaw.com/child-custody/custody-more/stategrandparent-custody.html
Ahman, E. (1999). Intergenerational Relationships: An Interview with Author Susan V. Bosak. Pediatric Nursing, v.25 (6), 647-8. Retrieved from: http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0FSZ/is_6_25/ai_n18609324/?tag=content;col1