Across the United States, almost 7.8 million children are living in homes where grandparents or other relatives are the householders, with more than 5.8 million children living in grandparents’ homes and nearly 2 million children living in other relatives’ homes. These families are often called “grandfamilies.”
More than 2.5 million grandparents are taking on the responsibility for these children. Many other relatives also take on this responsibility, although data are not available on other relatives. Often they assume this responsibility with neither of the children’s parents present in the home. In fact, nearly 1 million children are living in homes where the grandparent is the householder and neither parent is present in the home (comparable data are not available for children living in homes where another relative is the householder and neither parent is present.)
These grandparent and other relative caregivers and the children they are raising are often isolated. They lack information about the range of support services, resources, programs, benefits, laws and policies available to help them successfully fulfill their caregiving role. In addition, to better serve children, families and older adults, educators and program practitioners need access to information about these key resources. Policy makers also seek information and education about the issues facing these “grandfamilies.” Therefore, in a unique national partnership, AARP, Brookdale Foundation Group, Casey Family Programs, Child Welfare League of America, Children’s Defense Fund and Generations United have created the GrandFacts: State Fact Sheets for Grandparents and Other Relatives Raising Children.