Wednesday, January 6, 2016
Russell Sage Foundation-Supported Study Details How The System Fails Grandmothers Raising Kids
Increasing numbers of grandmothers across the United States are raising their grandchildren, many of them in poverty and grappling with a public assistance system not designed to meet their needs.
For a new study, researchers interviewed 77 African-American grandmothers living in some of the poorest areas of south Chicago. The findings underscore the challenges these caregivers face, including dealing with divided loyalties between their grandchildren and their own children, navigating the complications of getting state resources they desperately need, and sacrificing their own well-being to take care of their grandchildren.
“We often think of grandmothers as child care providers, but when they’re parenting children, they’re also child care consumers.” . . .
The new paper, published in the Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences, highlights the strategies grandmothers devise to keep grandchildren in their care without jeopardizing subsidized housing, such as keeping children’s names off leases to avoid being disqualified for senior housing. In some cases, grandmothers are not getting benefits available to them or have to jump through unnecessary hoops to access services because they are misinformed. . .