502 c Layne presentation


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Gramps, Grammy and Grief: Engaging Elderly and Kinship Caregivers in Your Grief Support Programming (Layne)

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502 c Layne presentation

  1. 1. GRAMPS, GRANNY & GRIEF: RAISING GRANDKIDS Alesia Alexander Layne, MSW, LCSW 2010 NAGC Symposium Cleveland, OH June, 2010
  2. 2. Kinship Care The full-time care, nurturing, and protection of children by relatives, members of their tribes or clans, godparents, stepparents, or any adult with a kinship bond with a child.
  3. 3. Who is doing it?  According to the US Census, approximately 200,000 children, about 1/3 of all children in foster care are in the care of relatives.  More than 2 million grandparents are raising 4.5 million children, and other relatives are raising an additional 1.5 million.
  4. 4. The Grandkids are Coming…Now what?! Many elderly caregivers are now confronted with their golden years being transformed from retirement and relaxation, to a second go at parenting due to losses.
  5. 5. From Grieving Child to POTUS… Kinship care is not new, we can harness the power of extended family to build stronger programs, and interventions.
  6. 6. Feelings Associated with Kinship Care  Doubt  Joy  Anger  Resentment  Disappointment  Pain  Confusion  Powerlessness  Worry  Loss of control  Fear  Guilt  Regret
  7. 7. Concerns of the Elderly Caregiver Parents Elderly Caregivers  Finances  Finances  Family history  Own health issues  New to parenting  Legal issues  Feelings associated  Family history with birth/addition  Feelings of Success/Failure in Parenting  Feelings associated with loss
  8. 8. Losses Associated with Kinship Care  Incarcerations  Abandonment  Substance Abuse Issues  Blended families due to finances, or health issues  Death  Removal from home due to abuse/neglect
  9. 9. How we hurt…  Not respecting the age  Not paying attention to or status of the cultural cues. caregiver.  Not providing for “old  Stereotypes. school”/low to no tech  Assumptions about age. methods of communication.  Assumptions about nature of loss.  Not enough face to face contact.  Not letting caregiver/child identify or define loss.
  10. 10. The “New Jack” Grandparent  Younger  Does not fit into stereotypical “granny/gramps” role  Has improved life outcomes.  May have own blended family, parenting history  Own history of abuse/loss/guilt about first time parenting experience(s).  Own grief journey.
  11. 11. Caregiving Needs  Self-care  Information  Boundaries  Training  Multiple approaches  Practice  Flexibility  Time management  Consistency  Planning  Support  Respite  Networking  Redefinition of  Access roles/family
  12. 12. Families in Therapy  Goal: Create a safe and non-judgmental space for sharing, and for creating “story”.  Group work is a resource for helping kids and their families put their story and history in perspective.  Should intrinsically support whatever that storyline is.  Loss is a defining factor in how a child/teen creates their identity, and develops a script for resilience and for finding their place in the world at large.  Grandparents/Kinship caregivers can promote incredible levels of sharing, and of filling holes for children/teens.
  13. 13. Kinship Care Mommy • Main Caregiver “Granny” • Significant Relative “Cissy” • Strong Sibling 11 years Role old • Other older kids • Other “Auntie Significant Adults, (may be Rusha” blood-related) or friends
  14. 14. Kinship Care Grandma/ “Auntie Grandpa Jennifer” “Mama” Daddy Brooks Granny “Auntie Pam” “Auntie “Auntie Rusha” Yeh Yah”
  15. 15. Family History  What is the family stance on secrets?  How does secret impact functioning?  Many families will only seek help from others when secrets have come out, and become crisis proportions.  Many elderly caregivers have little, to no tools for “talking” it out.  Due to culture  Age  Respect  Beliefs about role of kids in families  Taboo or stigma attached to loss/change.
  16. 16. Secrets…  Two kinds o Known o Unknown Practitioner has huge role in creating a safe place for exploring secrets:  Must understand the history of, and power of “codes”.  What is the family or child/teen’s definition of “protection”?  Who gets hurt/helped by the secret?  Timing IMPORTANT.  Your role is not to tell the secret; but to facilitate the safety of sharing, or to prepare the family for the consequences of not telling.
  17. 17. How we help…  Second-time Parent Support Groups  Offer services to law enforcement and victim’s advocacy groups  Referral sources and resource links on websites and in community centers.  Teach communication skills.  Facilitate communication.  Reunification preparation/goal definition.  Education and awareness building on grief experience for elder care agencies and parent/caregivers.
  18. 18. Interventions  Support Network Identification  Communication Skill Building  Life Skills  Rehearsal  Referrals  Parent/Caregiver Support/Education  Caregiver roundtables  Enhanced resource lists
  19. 19. Resources  Age-appropriate  Speaks to myth and  Pays attention to detail reality  Speaks a kid’s/young  Does not perpetuate person’s language dangerous stereotypes  Colorful or messages.  Captures attention  Honest  Has many different  Simple extensions.  Allows for questions.  Involves the senses.
  20. 20. Caregiver Resources  Easy to read  Simple  Larger Print  Multi-lingual  Bullets  Resources in print & digital  Includes access points to service/follow-up
  21. 21. YOUR Resources  Legal  Homework helplines  Judicial  Poison Control  Adoption Services  Baby/child proofing  Foster care  Party Planning  Juvenile Justice  Special Needs  Addictions Support  Therapists  Homelessness Services  Health Departments  School/Academic  Camps Support  Respite Care/Daycare
  22. 22. Advocacy  Create and disseminate family-friendly calendars of your events. Always provide for low, to no cost admissions for families.  Support and vote for initiatives that support urban neighborhoods, parks, programming.  Make sure you address caregivers as they wish to be addressed. Avoid over-familiarity, use of first names until they tell you it is OK.  Check in often to see if the caregiver has resources, for self care.  Regularly hold parenting education classes as a part of your programming.
  23. 23. For more information: www.project-karma.org