In the present family system, where separation between the partners is becoming very prevalent, grandparents take the charge to rear their grandchildren. Moreover, due to work schedule or career of the parents or due to single parenting, grandparents come forward to support their grandchildren. The present article discusses in detail about the grandparents raising grandchildren, the problems both face, their struggle over various issues and achievements of the child.
"Grandparents raising their grandchildren", "grandparent caregivers", "grandparents-as-parents" and "grandparent-headed families" are interchangeable terminologies which refer to the families where grandparents provide full time parental care to their grandchildren in the absence of the children's biological parents. In this era of recession where the people are losing their jobs at a much faster rate, parenting is becoming a big worry and therefore parents are becoming more inclined and turning to their own parents to rear their children because of several reasons including the financial insecurity and also because they are seeking jobs elsewhere and therefore grandparents raise their grandchildren due to the inability of the children's parents to effectively meet their parenting responsibilities. There are other conditions when grandparents become the full-time parent, may be either because of the death of the parent or a parent is away in the military, or because of the career of the parent(s) demand support to rear their kids, and rarely because of the grandparents living along with their children as a single joint family or under the rarest circumstances when the parent/s may be mentally ill, incarcerated, or merely and regrettably incapable of caring for their children (Proud Grandparents).
In many Western societies grandparents have play a dual role- as care providers of their grandchildren and also as grandchild's parents. And therefore provide full-time parenting role for their grandchildren. This includes a number of changes in family structure and social conditions (Kornhaber, 1996).
Grandparents raising grandchildren is not a new phenomenon. Historically, they have always stood to take over the care of their grandchildren in times of family crisis and have played major roles in raising their grandchildren (Kornhaber, 1996). The growing social phenomenon in USA showed 44% increase over the preceding decade in the number of children living with their grandparents or other relatives. According to the Census 2000 Supplementary survey between 2.3 and 2.4 million grandparents have primary responsibility for the care and upbringing of 4.5 million children (Hayslip & Patrick, 2003a). This phenomenon has captured the attention of researchers, service providers and policy makers in the USA, resulting in a number of interventions to assist grandparents raising grandchildren (Hayslip & Kaminski, 2005).
The U.S. 2000 Census displays that around 2.5 million families with grandparents raising their grandchildren (Kornhaber, 1996). The number is on rise as many families do support other relatives, who act as parents, for e.g. raising their brother or sister's children or, even yet, raising their niece or nephew's children. It is an observation that at times grandparents are at work also and still raising their grandchildren. There is a kind of mental, emotional, or financial boding between grandparents and their grandchildr