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GrandFamilies Guide

Raising Grandchildren: Support

If you're a grandparent caring for a child, here's how to find the help you need

Can I find someone to watch my grandkids?

Many communities have programs that will provide care for your grandchild while you do things like go to a doctor, go shopping, go to court or simply get some much-needed rest.

Check with your Area Agency on Aging or child welfare office to find out if there are relative caregiver respite programs in your state. You should also:

  • Locate your state's GrandFacts fact sheet at to find out what resources are available.
  • Check out any "Morning Out" programs or drop-in child-care centers that may be available in your community.
  • Ask about before- and after-school programs at your grandchild’s school
  • Line up babysitters, such as local teenagers or your friends/family
  • Trade care with other grandparent caregivers — you watch their kids one week and they watch yours the next week
  • Check out mentoring programs for your grandchildren, such as the Big Brothers/Big Sisters program, after-school programs and Boys and Girls Clubs.

How can I get help if I'm feeling overwhelmed?

When you are raising grandchildren, you may feel overcome with emotions. You may feel grief, sadness, and a sense of loss and disappointment that your child wasn't able to raise his/her children. Or you may feel angry or resentful about having to take on this role. If your feelings are getting in the way of your day-to-day life, it can be helpful to talk to a mental health professional. Ask friends, family or your doctor for names of a therapist, counselor or social worker who does counseling. Or call your local department of mental health for a referral. Remember, by taking care of your own mental health needs you will be better able to care for your grandchildren.

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National and state fact sheets listing services, programs,  benefits, laws and policies for grandparents raising children. Read

GrandFamilies Guide

Information, tips and tools for grandparents raising grandchildren. Read

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