Project Summary:

This project proposes the development of GRANDcares, a systems-based intervention for vulnerable grandparent-headed families. The tripartite intervention is based upon family resilience theory and focuses on strengthening self-care and parenting skills in custodial grandparents, developing communication and leadership skills in grandchildren, and increasing the ability of service providers to meet grandfamilies’ needs.

GRANDcares’ long-term goal is to create an effective evidence-based intervention to improve quality of life for custodial grandparents and their grandchildren. Program objectives are to: (1) enhance grandparents’ parenting skills and self-care practices, (2) promote youth participants’ self-efficacy and leadership skills, and (3) strengthen service providers’ abilities to support grandfamilies.

Year one of the five-year plan (i.e., July 2015 to June 2020) includes planning, staff training, recruiting participants, and enhancing relationships with community partners. In year two, the grandparent component, an adaptation of the existing evidenced-based Powerful Tools for Caregivers, will be implemented and evaluated. In year three, grandchild and service provider components will be added. Grandchildren will learn self-care skills parallel to their grandparents, and practice leadership skills as they develop a grandfamily self-care day to celebrate program graduation. Also during year three, service providers will participate in a series of distance-based trainings. In year four, the intervention will be refined as additional cohorts participate. In year five, the evaluation specialist will provide summative results and program findings will be disseminated. The GRANDcares intervention will contribute to the parent/family national CYFAR outcome, as it will assist grandparents in meeting their children’s physical, social, emotional, and intellectual needs.