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WHATHelp for grandparents raising their grandchildren including counseling, support groups, caregiver training and financial assistance.
WHYTo help support the growing number of older adults who are caregivers to grandchildren and other family members.
WHEREGrandparents Raising Grandchildren Program Illinois Department on Aging.
Illinois, USA.

Program Description

“Grandparents and other relatives often begin caring for children with little or no warning or preparation.”

“Many children suffer from severe physical, emotional and behavioral problems which make caregiving difficult.”

“Many relatives provide care for children without legal custody or guardianship. Litigation is costly. Many legal assistance agencies do not litigate family law cases. Many relatives do not pursue custody or guardianship for financial reasons or out of fear of angering the parent(s) and losing their relationship with the child(ren). Without legal custody or guardianship the relative caregiver may have difficulty enrolling the child in school, obtaining medical information or treatment, or accessing benefits for the child.”


The Illinois Department on Aging’s Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Program can provide older adults caring for grandchildren with the following assistance:

  • Free assistive devices.
  • Home modification.
  • Legal assistance.
  • Transportation.
  • School supplies.
  • Counseling Support groups.
  • Caregiver training.
  • Information and referral assistance.

Grandparents may find themselves in the role of caregiving for their grandchildren or other kin due to the following circumstances:

  • Alcohol and Drug Abuse.
  • Neglect, Abuse, and Abandonment.
  • Death of a Parent.
  • Divorce.
  • Unemployment / Poverty.
  • Parental Incarceration.
  • Teen Pregnancy.
  • Welfare Reform.

Affordable or appropriate housing for older adults caring for a grandchild may be an issue due to lack of space, location to schools, safety and other issues.

School enrollment and a grandchild’s healthcare may also cause challenges due a relative’s lack of proof of legal guardianship or associated schooling costs.  

Children’s health issues may be challenging and impacted by prenatal drug or alcohol exposure, sexual and/or physical abuse, or feelings of abandonment causing emotional and behavioral problems.

Grandparents as Parents Programs
Elderly Caregiver Education and Training Programs
Elderly Caregiver Support and Assistance Programs
Caregiver Films and Documentaries

Find out more about Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Program

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