Creating a Social Program
August 21, 2010
It is estimated that 1.3 million children are entrusted to their grandparents’ care everyday and that 2.4 million children live in households headed by a grandparent. This practice is one of tradition, especially in the African-American culture. Full-time care giving of grandchildren by grandparents is a growing national phenomenon (Moore & Miller, 2007). During this time, some grandparents experience stress and resentment for having to raise their children’s children. On the other hand, grandchildren experience emotional, behavior and academic problems at school (Edwards, Daire, 2006). This ...view middle of the document...
The challenges faced by grandparents raising children are innumerable. Among these are economic strains, inadequate housing, health and mental health concerns for themselves, their children and grandchildren and social isolation from peers (Smith & Beltran, 2003).
This social program will bring awareness to the community that they are not alone and that there is an agency that cares about their situation, and will also educate grandparents and grandchildren and give them the necessary tools needed in order for them to live in households that are safe, loving and stress free. This program will also provide support services such as food, clothing and other services to ensure that grandparents are able to meet the needs of their grandchildren and themselves. Statistics show that grandparents who care for their grandchildren most likely live in poverty, regardless of the fact that around 48 percent work outside of the home. The timeline for this program can range from six months to three years, depending on each client’s circumstances. A program such as Grandma’s and Grandpa’s Hands will allow grandparents many fruitful rewards, including the ability to keep the family together (Minkler, 2000).
Causes and Consequences
The cause of many grandchildren to be place in the care of their grandparents is due to one of the following: drug/child abuse, divorce, homelessness, incarceration, teenage pregnancy, neglect, or death. As a result, many grandparents suffer from depression because of the difficulties in balancing work, family and social responsibilities at a time when many grandparents had hoped to have more time to themselves and some studies show that such depression may also be triggered by sorrow that results from the distressing circumstances surrounding the onset of care (Minkler, 2000). The experience of raising one’s grandchild can be beneficial. Additional benefits of raising grandchildren includes the opportunity to raise grandchild more effectively than the child’s parent, the possibility of establishing a closer relationship with the grandchild and the ability to keep their biological descendants out of the foster (Edwards & Daire, (2006). This also gives grandparents a greater purpose for living. With the Grandma’s and Grandpa’s Hand Program, both the grandparents and grandchildren will be the gainers because each will have the other to depend on and when situations become challenging, both parties can come the program for assistance at any time. The only losers are the parents who are drug dependent and were not able to provide for their child/children.
The mission of the Grandma’s and Grandpa’s Hands Program is to assist grandparents in the community who have become surrogate parents to their grandchildren through education, counseling and other services. The goals of the program is to provide services that will help grandparents cope with the mental, physical and financial burdens associated with...