Today, approximately 1.6 million American children live in what social scientists call “grandfamilies”—households in which children are being raised by their grandparents. In You’ve Always Been There for Me, Rachel Dunifon uses data gathered from grandfamilies in New York to analyze their unique strengths and distinct needs. Though grandfamilies can benefit from the accumulated wisdom of mature adults raising children for a second time, Dunifon notes, such families also face high rates of health problems as well as parenting challenges related to a large generation gap. Grandfamilies are also largely hidden in American society, flying under the radar of social service agencies, policymakers, and family researchers. This book gives family researchers a greater understanding of a unique family form, and also offers service providers, policymakers and the general public important information about the lives of an important group of American families.
About the Author
RACHEL E. DUNIFON is a professor of policy analysis and management and interim dean in the College of Human Ecology at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. She is also the coauthor or coeditor of several books, including Research for the Public Good.
Table of Contents
List of Tables Introduction 1 What Leads to the Formation of Grandfamilies? 2 “I Couldn’t Be Prouder to Be the Caregiver of You”: How Do Grandparents Define Their Roles in Grandfamilies? 3 “I Get All the Love I Need”: How Do Youth Define Their Roles in Grandfamilies? 4 “I Love My Daughter, But I Don’t Like Her Right About Now”: The Role of Parents in Grandfamilies 5 Policies and Programs to Address Grandfamilies’ Needs 6 Postscript—Where Are They Now? Conclusion Appendix Acknowledgments Notes Index