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Grandparents raising grandchildren strategies for effective service delivery va tech

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Grandparents raising grandchildren strategies for effective service delivery va tech

  1. 1. Grandparents Raising Grandchildren: 
 Strategies For Effective Service Delivery Megan L. Dolbin-MacNab, Ph.D., LMFT Department of Human Development Virginia Tech Virginia Governor’s Conference on Aging May 2, 2016
  2. 2. Grandparent Involvement in Families Companionate Caregiving Co-Resident Custodial
  3. 3. Defining Custodial Grandparents • Grandparents who are primarily responsible for all aspects of the care of a grandchild (or grandchildren). • Can be formal or informal (majority) caregiving. • Parents are often absent (skipped generation households). • WHY? • Reasons (and experiences) are diverse. • Usually multiple factors are at work. • Reasons often reflect societal patterns of marginalization.
  4. 4. Custodial Grandfamily Statistics • 2.6 million grandparents are raising their grandchildren • 30% increase in the last 30 years • 1 in 10 (7.8 million) grandchildren co-reside with their grandparents • 2.5 million (or 3% of all US children) are being raised by grandparents • Grandparents and other relatives save taxpayers about $4 billion/year in foster care costs (Generations United, 2014)
  5. 5. A Demographic Profile 21% live below the poverty line 58% are working 42% provided care for 5+ years 62% are grandmothers 66% are married 39% are over the age of 60 53% are White** (Generations United, 2014; Pew Research Center, 2013)
  6. 6. Issues for Service Delivery • Legal • Financial • Physical (Medical) • Psychological (Mental Health) • Social Support • Parenting/Child Development • Education • Housing • Extended Family Relationships
  7. 7. Strategies For Effective Service Delivery
  8. 8. Program Structure Program Staff Program Accessibility GP Beliefs (Dolbin-MacNab, Roberto & Finney, 2013) Awareness, Attitudes, Trust Personal/Structural Barriers Education, Bias, Rapport Services, Policies, Coordination, Advocacy
  9. 9. Grandparent Beliefs • Develop Service Awareness: • Advertise, using multiple formats – go to the GPs and GC • Word-of-Mouth (Professionals, GPs) • Address Help-Seeking Attitudes: • Talk about and normalize feelings of stigma • Build Trust in Services: • Build in transparency – policies, processes • Offer choices and autonomy whenever possible • Give examples of results – how will this help?
  10. 10. Program Accessibility • Remove Barriers: • Provide transportation, childcare, meals • Offer flexible hours of service – evenings and weekends • Choose a convenient location – near public transportation, other services • Offer Alternative Forms of Service: • Telephone • Internet • Home-Based • Mobile • Combined Services
  11. 11. Program Staff • Become Educated: • Reasons for Caregiving, Needs/Challenges, Strengths/Resources • Examine Bias and Negative Stereotypes: • Consider: Who is at “fault?” “Who is responsible?” • Engage in critical self-reflection (Dolbin-MacNab, 2015) • Deliver Excellent Customer Service: • See “Build Trust in Services” • Build rapport and be respectful – warmth, personal connection • Focus on successes, strengths, and resources (vs. deficits) • Offer additional assistance and guidance • Connect with other available services
  12. 12. Program Structure • Population-Specific Services: • Address multiple needs of GPs and GC • Opportunities for recreation and socialization • GPs are not the same as other parents • Develop Sensitive Policies and Procedures: • Flexible custody and documentation requirements • Avoid restrictive participation/attendance requirements • Engage in Advocacy: • Use power and connections to help advocate for GPs and GC • Implement Supportive Policies…
  13. 13. Supportive Policies – Virginia Scorecard SUPPORTIVE POLICIES VIRGINIA? Relative Foster Care (%) 6% (Tied for 2nd Lowest) Education Consent ✔ Health Care Consent ✔ De Facto Custody TANF Exceptions/Limits (e.g., Time, Work, Assets) ✔ (No Family-Like) National Family Caregiver Support Program Guardianship Assistance Program Lifespan Respite Care ✔
  14. 14. THANK YOU!
 Questions? Dr. Megan L. Dolbin-MacNab Department of Human Development Virginia Tech (540) 231-6807 mdolbinm@vt.edu
  15. 15. References • Dolbin-MacNab, M. L. (2015). Critical self-reflection questions for professionals who work with grandfamilies. Grandfamilies, 1(2), 139-159. • Dolbin-MacNab, M. L., Roberto, K. A., & Finney, J. W. (2013). Formal social support: Promoting resilience in grandparents parenting grandchildren. In B. Hayslip Jr. & G. C. Smith (Eds.), Resilient grandparent caregivers: A strengths- based perspective (pp. 134-151). New York: Routledge. • Generations United: • The State of Grandfamilies in America: 2014. Available at: http://www.gu.org/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=yfGpYQNMuxk%3d&tabid=157&mid=606 • The State of Grandfamilies in America: 2015. Available at: http://www.gu.org/ RESOURCES/Publications/TheStateofGrandfamiliesinAmerica2015.aspx • Note: This document contains a list of excellent resources on grandfamilies.

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