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April 2007Vol. 8, No. 3Respite Care for Grandfamilies

Respite care can provide grandparents and other relative caregivers with the time they need to take care of themselves so they can provide a nurturing family and home for the children they are raising. Caregivers in these "grandfamilies" often need regular or emergency care for their children while they attend to medical, business, or other family matters.

A recent policy brief from the Family Strengthening Policy Center examines the benefits of respite care programs for grandfamilies. The brief sheds light on the economic and emotional issues affecting these households and recommends various types of respite care to accommodate family circumstances. It also describes the ways effective respite care systems strengthen grandfamilies by:

  • Enhancing the stability of the grandfamily household
  • Relieving caregivers' stress to build better family relationships
  • Enabling caregivers to pursue other supports

The brief includes a list of policy recommendations to improve the availability and accessibility of respite care systems and identifies family-driven practices based on measurable outcomes. Successful respite care programs are also profiled. For a closer look at Strengthening Grandfamilies Through Respite Care, visit the National Human Services Assembly website: (367 - KB)