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South Carolina's Grandparents: Two AARP Surveys

In South Carolina, there are close to 100,000 children residing with their grandparents. Among these children, over half of the grandparents say they are responsible for more of the basic needs of the grandchildren that live with them. This two-part report examines some of the experiences and opinions of South Carolina grandparents and grandparents raising grandchildren.

The first part of the report explores the opinions of South Carolina AARP members concerning grandparenting issues expressed in the 2003 AARP South Carolina Member Opinion Survey (SCMOS). The survey includes members' responses to questions regarding the primary care of grandchildren, importance of having access to affordable child care services, and preferences for types of information and resources pertaining to being a caregiver for grandchildren or kin's children.

Part two of the report explores the opinions and experiences of South Carolina grandparents raising grandchildren who attended the South Carolina Grandparents Caring for Grandchildren Summit on October 7, 2003. This survey includes questions on the number of grandchildren, step grandchildren, and great grandchildren being raised; age of the children; and length of time and reasons for raising the children. Further, the survey explores what type of help support groups and AARP can provide to grandparents raising grandchildren.

The SCMOS found that 14 percent of AARP members in South Carolina (roughly 45,766 members) provide care for their grandchildren on a regular basis and that such grandparents are more likely than other grandparents to want to have access to affordable child care services and to want information on fun things they can do with their grandchildren. The Summit survey found that most grandparents raising grandchildren attending the summit did not receive money from their children to help support their grandchildren. Summit participants indicated an interest in an AARP-sponsored support group for grandparents raising grandchildren to provide them with networking opportunities.

For further information, contact Rachelle Cummins at 202-434-6297. (54 pages)

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