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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 www.grandfactsheets.org 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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Grandparent
Resources

GrandFacts

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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