An Overlooked Caregiver Category – Grandparents Raising Grandchildren

According to recent statistics, there are approximately 30,000 grandparents in Massachusetts who have custody of their grandchildren.

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In Barnstable County in 2017, there were over 1,500 grandparents responsible for grandchildren, with approximately 900 under the age of 60 and more than 600 over the age of 60.

Data Source: 2017 ACS (American Community Survey) from American FactFinder, U.S. Census Bureau

When most of us think of grandparents, we think of loving, nurturing people. Having worked hard, they’ve earned the right to spend their retirement years relaxing. They should be doing all the things they didn’t have time for when they were working.

But there’s a large part of the population taking in their grandchildren. When no one else is available to care for these kids, grandparents step in.

Grandparents are now raising a whole new family, despite generational differences. They are often on a very limited income and have little to no support from friends or family.

These grandparents are providing emotional support to children and teens who are in this situation through no fault of their own.

For the average person, there’s a complicated process to become a foster or pre-adoptive parent. The process includes training, meetings with social workers, and a home study. Prospective foster parents have weeks, or months, to prepare for the dramatic lifestyle change.

But when a grandparent or other relative becomes a caregiver it can happen quickly, and with little preparation.

Assuming the care and responsibility for young lives is life-changing and can turn their world upside down.

The Cape Cod Foster Closet helps grandparents adjust.

We can provide material and emotional support. We’ve been there. Having been foster parents for 4 years we know firsthand that the first few weeks are a real adjustment period.

We offer help with the adjustment by providing necessary items – clothing, shoes, toys, books, baby equipment… whatever it takes to raise a child.

We also are available to answer questions, make referrals or offer recommendations for other types of services, and offer a sympathetic ear. 

Deciding to make this commitment to your young family members is truly a selfless act and we are thankful that people like you make this decision every day.

If you or someone you know is in this situation, we would love to hear from you. Go to the contact button below and call or email us so that we can help in whatever way you need.

Thank you for all you’re doing for the children!

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