he need for extended families is compounded by the rise economic stagnation manifested by reduction in real wages, and overall reduction in jobs offering benefits and a living wage, and government sector retrenchments for single mothers, and working poor (Baker, Silverstein, and Putney, 2008, p. 2).The result is a compromise in the ability of parents to raise their children while increasing the childcare gap. In this case, grandparents are the most reliable guardian in such distressed families as their sons and daughters in the middle-generation are incapable of rearing their children on their own.
Baker, Silverstein, and Putney (2008, p. 3) highlight that about 6.5 million children in the United States live with one grandparent causing about 9% of all children nationally. This means that while the parents of these children work, grandparents are used as babysitters, who offer childcare. Consequently, families translate into multi-generational households. The grandparents living with grandchildren can be custodial or non-custodial. With custodial carer, the grandparents care for grandchildren on a full time basis. The grandparents can be relatives or non relatives the grandchildren left to care for children, especially where the motheres return to work after having a baby (Grandparents Plus). Unrelated grandparents are just day carers. Conversely, non-custodial grandparents caring for grandchildren are just day carers who are not the principle source of care for the children since their parents are either co-residents or not. However, the research notes that grandparent carers are unevenly distributed across racial groups and social classes, especially where poor families depend on them as cheap childcare that facilitates both parents to work (Grandparents Plus). Furthermore, amongst African Americans custodial grandparenting rates are very high given the historically high rates of single parenting and poverty (Backhouse 12). Extended familism’s cultural ...Show more