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Grandparents who are the primary caregivers for their grandchildren face some unique challenges as well as the potential for special joys. Here to help them is the GRANDCares Project, which offers grandparents a variety of useful tools to cope with their unique family situation and added responsibilities. It also provides grandchildren with positive youth-development experiences through its Youth Club.
GRANDCares is a 5-year, $1.3 million multistate effort with the University of Colorado HDFS Department, funded by NIFA through the Children, Youth, and Families at Risk program. Co-PIs for the Hawai‘i division of the project are Loriena Yancura and Heather Greenwood (both FCS).
The project has just released its 2-year community report. As the report shows, grandparents who are clients report continued use of class tools six months after the classes end. These tools help them handle stress and strain related to raising grandchildren and make changes in their health behaviors. These healthy changes positively impact grandparents’ interactions with grandchildren, spouses, and other family members. The grandparents also reported significant increases in awareness of support services and in their sense of confidence, and significant decreases in depressive symptoms.