Wow. One in ten American children are living with their grandparents.

Here are a few grandparent stories from my CASA cases a few years ago;

Grandma told me that “when that child is 18, I will be 88 years old”. She had adopted four tragically abused grandchildren, the youngest was a Quadriplegic.

My heart was heavy with just how much physical and mental energy raising these very troubled children were going to be for this dedicated grandmother. What strength it took this dear sweet person to make this giant commitment.

Another example of extreme courage by a grandparent came a few years later when after 49 police calls to a home, the two girls were finally removed from their violent drug using home because the 7 year old tried to kill the 5 year old in front of the police officer.

I believe that the 7 year old had been prostituted.

Grandma stepped in and adopted her grandchildren accepting all the difficulties that go along with raising terrifically abused children.

There is little that comes easier for a sixty or seventy year old person when it comes to raising children.

The physical and mental demands made on grandparents by their younger charges are tremendous.

From the bottom of my heart, Thank You.

From the rest of us, let’s see to it that they and the children they care for, get adequate help from our communities to make their tasks a little easier and more successful.

Happy Grandparents Day in advance.

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One in 10 children now lives with a grandparent, study shows


The Kansas City Star
One in 10 children now lives with a grandparent, study shows

The number of children living with their grandparents has risen throughout the past decade and jumped sharply during the recession, according to a new analysis of census data.

One child in 10 now lives with a grandparent, the Pew Research Center reported this week.

That represents an 8 percent rise since 2000, with 5 percent of the growth occurring in 2007-2008, the research center noted.

A grandparent is the primary caregiver for about four in 10 of those children, indicating that at least one parent is present in many of the homes.

Nearly half of the children being raised by grandparents also live with a single parent, the report said.

Reasons for the increase in grandparent responsibilities likely include higher unemployment or home foreclosures among parents, single working parents who can’t support households, and incarcerated or substance-abusing parents.

Grandparents who serve as primary caregivers for their grandchildren are disproportionately black and Hispanic, the report said, but the increase in grandparent caregiving “has been more pronounced among whites.”

“The number of white grandparents primarily responsible for their grandchildren rose by 9 percent from 2007 to 2008, compared with an increase of just 2 percent among black grandparents and no change among Hispanic grandparents,” Pew researchers reported.

Living with grandparents doesn’t necessarily mean better financial circumstances.

Nearly one in five caregiving grandparents lives below the poverty line, Pew reported. Forty-seven percent of the households have incomes that are one to three times the poverty rate.

The data showed that 62 percent of grandparent caregivers are women and 38 percent are men. Two-thirds of grandparent caregivers are married.

To reach Diane Stafford, call 816-234-4359 or send e-mail to

Posted on Fri, Sep. 10, 2010 10:15 PM

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  1. These statistics speaks volume about the socioeconomic complexity of the family structure as it is in the 21st century. The White race of people are now having to deal and cope with a problem once known primarily to minority families…Blacks and Hispanic. Grandparents rearing grandchildren because their sons or daughters need help. This is not something that is unfamiliar to me…being raised by one parent, my grandparents had a significant role in my upbringing.

    In difficult times such as the ones we are facing today, families need to pool their resources together in order to survive. These noble grandparents take on this extraordinary responsibility to keep their grandchildren out of the system. Hardship has no particular family’s name attached to it….the knock can come to your door for any number of reasons….the question is how do they get through it. One way families get through difficult times is by returning to the core basics…values, beliefs, and love. Nurturing become significant if, children are going to become productive citizens.

    Grandparents are taking the bull by its horns… leading the way to do what is necessary for their families and communities…reaching out with caring hands serving with love from the heart. Grandparents have been making differences in the lives of their families for generation because they simply care. What would our society be like without loving and caring grandparents? The only way I can answer this questions is unimginable.

  2. I have an 11 year-old son with Emotional/Behavioral Issues due to emotional and physical abuse from his father and two older sisters who have severe oppositional/defiant behaviors (I’ve been kicked out of 5 apartments due to my teenagers screaming and swearing and breaking doors and walls of each apartment because they are unhappy with the financial situation ($62,000 year married to 3,000 year as a single mom).
    Leading a broken family and children that refuse counseling….I am a single parent of all 3 (11,16,17).I have no family support and cannot keep a babysitter.As a result, I repeatedly lose jobs and was unemployed for 2 months,,,,I recently acquired 2 jobs again and I’m afraid I will lose them too,,,,Are there any respite programs in the Milwaukee area that offer evening and weekend child care for single parents??? Are there any others that are or have been in my situation that could share their thought?

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