With recent figures from the US Census Bureau revealing that nearly 2.7 million grandparents are shouldering the responsibility of raising more than one grandchild, it is quite evident that for many grandparents, grandkids are like a second round of parenting.
While spending post-retirement time with grandkids is part of the fun of being a grandparent, around 1.7 million grandmothers and 1 million grandfathers are actually providing their grandchildren – one or more - with the basic needs like food, clothing and shelter.
With nearly 1.6 million of the grandparents who are bringing up their grandchildren still working, it is evident that they seek the help of support groups for best performing the emotionally and financially challenging job of raising their grandkids.
One such group – a nonprofit called Grandparents Raising Grandchildren- is headed by a New Bedford grandmother named Brenda Grace, who raised her own two teenaged granddaughters for six years; and is now offering help to other grandparents in terms of providing resources as well as requisite information for raising their grandchildren.
The Department of Children and Families has appointed Grace as a member of a Commission – the Commission on the Status of Grandparents – which has published a detailed booklet outlining the resources available to grandparents raising their grandchildren.
About the challenges that grandparents face in raising their grandchildren, Grace said: “It’s hard. It changes your life. It’s like bringing up your own kids all over again.”
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