The Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is planning the release of a new resource for grandfamilies: The Grandfamily Guidebook: Wisdom and Support for Grandparents Raising Grandchildren. The book is a contemporary, invaluable resource for grandparents raising grandchildren in today's world.
More than three million Americans are raising their grandchildren, and they have done this all before. But this time, they are parenting under different circumstances—and likely as a result of scenarios they never envisioned for their family.
Now more than ever, substance use has made many birth parents simply unfit for the job. The opioid epidemic has ravaged families across the country. Grandparents are stepping out of retirement to care for their grandchildren, who may have been born dependent on opioids as well.
Or the impetus might be mental health, incarceration, or immaturity. Whatever the reason for their new role, their kinship care is needed to help their grandchildren adjust to a shifting family dynamic while perhaps facing problem behaviors that can develop as a result of a difficult past environment, neonatal abstinence, or any number of other birth syndromes.
Their top priority now is to help their grandchildren emerge thriving from what may initially feel like a less-than-ideal situation. The deeply rewarding experience of creating a grandfamily in the midst of crisis reminds us that all families are built and strengthened over time.
The Grandfamily Guidebook offers just the right mix of expert advice and insights gathered from thousands of grandparents who are raising grandchildren. With this comprehensive guide they'll avoid common pitfalls as they adjust to their new normal, and have a touchstone to come back to as things unfold. With advice on everything from engaging with birth parents, to managing legal and financial considerations, challenges with school and social life, and their own self-care, they'll always have a practical, inspiring guide to building a grandfamily.