Sep 18, 2013

To Grandmother's House We Go...and Stay

A recent report from Pew Research shows that 1 in 10 children are living with a grandparent.

Children younger than 6 are more likely than older children to live with or be cared for by a grandparent: 14% of those below age 6 are co-residing with a grandparent, and 6% are being cared for by a grandparent.

Among older children, about 9% are living with a grandparent, and 4% are being cared for primarily by a grandparent.

Children who are cared for primarily by a grandparent are more likely to be living below the poverty line (28% versus 17%) and have lower median household income ($36,000 versus $48,000) than children who are not being cared for primarily by a grandparent.

In 80% of the cases where children are living with a grandparent, at least one of the child’s parents is also in the household. 

Some 7 million grandparents are living with a grandchild—an increase of 22% from 2000, when fewer than 6 million grandparents were living with a grandchild.

The sharp increase in the number of grandchildren living with their grandparents, and in some cases being cared for by them, mirrors other trends in family and household structure that have emerged since 2007 as apparent strategies to gird against financial hardship.

What does this mean for children's ministry?
  • We must be sensitive to the needs of children who are living with their grandparents.
  • We must encourage and support grandparents who are raising their grandchildren.  Parenting one generation is a challenge, parenting two generations consecutively is a large task.
  • We must continue to equip, encourage, and empower parents so they can successfully fulfill their role.
  •  We must meet families where they are...including grandfamilies...and be the arms of Jesus wrapping around them.  
Okay.  Your turn.  Think about these questions and share your thoughts in the comment section below.

Do you have grandfamilies in your ministry?

What are some things you are doing to minister to grandparents?

How can we more effectively encourage, equip, and empower grandparents ?

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