Supporting grandparents caring for their grandchildren / Francesca Lundström

Hdl Handle:
http://hdl.handle.net/10147/85801
Title:
Supporting grandparents caring for their grandchildren / Francesca Lundström
Other Titles:
A Comhairle social policy report
Authors:
Lundström, Francesca
Affiliation:
Comhairle
Issue Date:
Nov-2005
URI:
http://hdl.handle.net/10147/85801
Item Type:
Report
Language:
en
Description:
This Comhairle Social Policy Report discusses issues relating to grandparents in Ireland. In particular it focuses on State support for grandparents where they are caring for their grandchildren full time, access to grandchildren when children become separated or divorced and custody of grandchildren. The report is based on feedback from the network of Citizens’ Information Services around the country and discussions with other services that have dealings with grandparents who are caring for their grandchildren. The primary function of Comhairle is the provision of information, advice and advocacy in the broad area of the social services. Comhairle also has a number of other functions including: “To support, promote and develop the provision of information on the effectiveness of current social policy and services and to highlight issues which are of concern to users of those services”1. In carrying out this function, Comhairle relies heavily on feedback, on the needs and experiences of users of the Citizens Information Services (CISs) and the Citizens Information Phone Service (CIPS). CISs and CIPS report queries with a social policy dimension to Comhairle where they are analysed and used as the basis for policy submissions and reports. During 2004, the CISs registered almost 650,000 queries and the CIPS almost 73,000. Of these queries, 1,649 were deemed by CISs and CIPS to have social policy implications and were reported to Comhairle in separate social policy records. These were queries where it was considered that the service available fell short of what was needed or appropriate in the particular situation. Case studies relating to grandparents, particularly in terms of financial supports for caring for grandchildren full time and access to grandchildren, began to emerge in social policy records during 2004. The number of cases was small but the issues emerging from these cases were considered by Comhairle to be serious enough to warrant further examination. In a survey of Citizens Information Services in 2003, queries concerned with family matters constituted 6% of all queries. The area within this category where there were most queries was that of separation and divorce which accounted for almost one-third of all family matter queries or approximately 14,500 queries. In a similar survey carried out in July 2005, preliminary results show that queries concerned with family matters constituted 6.4% of all queries and more than 50% of these related to separation and divorce. With the escalation in the rate of separation and divorce in Ireland, grandparents, and in particular paternal grandparents, increasingly have difficulty with access to their grandchildren whom they may have been very close to before the marriage breakdown. The number of separated persons in Ireland (including divorced) increased by over a half between 1996 and 2002. Within the overall separated category, the number of persons recorded as divorced more than trebled, from 9,800 to 35,100, between 1996 and 2002, reflecting to a large extent the legalisation of divorce in the State in 1997 (Browne, 2004). The growth in the labour force recorded in recent censuses is largely due to a combination of the underlying growth in the population aged 15 years and over and increasing female labour force participation; the latter increased from 28.2 per 1 Comhairle Strategic Plan 2003-2006, Comhairle 2003. 5 cent in 1971 to 47 per cent in 2002. At the same time, the percentage of women aged 15 years and over, describing their status as “engaged in home duties, looking after home/family”, declined from 61.9 per cent in 1971 to 26.6 per cent in 2002. All of these demographic changes can affect the relationship between grandparents and grandchildren. In some cases grandparents are providing informal care to their grandchildren for the full working week. In other situations they are having difficulty maintaining any contact with their grandchildren where their parents have separated or divorced. In addition, grandparents can find themselves in the position of full-time carers of their grandchildren for a number of reasons, (e.g. the death of the parent, parental drug abuse, alcoholism or mental health difficulties, domestic abuse or abandonment). This document describes the extent of grandparents’ rights in Ireland. It also describes the difficulties grandparents are having exercising some of these rights as reported by Citizens Information Services (CISs) around the country, supplemented by information from other sources. Finally, grandparents’ rights in other countries are described, together with those that incorporate innovative rights initiatives that recognise the important role grandparents play in family life.
Keywords:
SOCIAL POLICY; PARENT; CHILD HEALTH; PRIMARY CARE SERVICE
Local subject classification:
GRANDPARENTS
Series/Report no.:
SOCIAL POLICY SERIES

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.contributor.authorLundström, Francescaen
dc.date.accessioned2009-11-10T14:59:57Z-
dc.date.available2009-11-10T14:59:57Z-
dc.date.issued2005-11-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10147/85801-
dc.descriptionThis Comhairle Social Policy Report discusses issues relating to grandparents in Ireland. In particular it focuses on State support for grandparents where they are caring for their grandchildren full time, access to grandchildren when children become separated or divorced and custody of grandchildren. The report is based on feedback from the network of Citizens’ Information Services around the country and discussions with other services that have dealings with grandparents who are caring for their grandchildren. The primary function of Comhairle is the provision of information, advice and advocacy in the broad area of the social services. Comhairle also has a number of other functions including: “To support, promote and develop the provision of information on the effectiveness of current social policy and services and to highlight issues which are of concern to users of those services”1. In carrying out this function, Comhairle relies heavily on feedback, on the needs and experiences of users of the Citizens Information Services (CISs) and the Citizens Information Phone Service (CIPS). CISs and CIPS report queries with a social policy dimension to Comhairle where they are analysed and used as the basis for policy submissions and reports. During 2004, the CISs registered almost 650,000 queries and the CIPS almost 73,000. Of these queries, 1,649 were deemed by CISs and CIPS to have social policy implications and were reported to Comhairle in separate social policy records. These were queries where it was considered that the service available fell short of what was needed or appropriate in the particular situation. Case studies relating to grandparents, particularly in terms of financial supports for caring for grandchildren full time and access to grandchildren, began to emerge in social policy records during 2004. The number of cases was small but the issues emerging from these cases were considered by Comhairle to be serious enough to warrant further examination. In a survey of Citizens Information Services in 2003, queries concerned with family matters constituted 6% of all queries. The area within this category where there were most queries was that of separation and divorce which accounted for almost one-third of all family matter queries or approximately 14,500 queries. In a similar survey carried out in July 2005, preliminary results show that queries concerned with family matters constituted 6.4% of all queries and more than 50% of these related to separation and divorce. With the escalation in the rate of separation and divorce in Ireland, grandparents, and in particular paternal grandparents, increasingly have difficulty with access to their grandchildren whom they may have been very close to before the marriage breakdown. The number of separated persons in Ireland (including divorced) increased by over a half between 1996 and 2002. Within the overall separated category, the number of persons recorded as divorced more than trebled, from 9,800 to 35,100, between 1996 and 2002, reflecting to a large extent the legalisation of divorce in the State in 1997 (Browne, 2004). The growth in the labour force recorded in recent censuses is largely due to a combination of the underlying growth in the population aged 15 years and over and increasing female labour force participation; the latter increased from 28.2 per 1 Comhairle Strategic Plan 2003-2006, Comhairle 2003. 5 cent in 1971 to 47 per cent in 2002. At the same time, the percentage of women aged 15 years and over, describing their status as “engaged in home duties, looking after home/family”, declined from 61.9 per cent in 1971 to 26.6 per cent in 2002. All of these demographic changes can affect the relationship between grandparents and grandchildren. In some cases grandparents are providing informal care to their grandchildren for the full working week. In other situations they are having difficulty maintaining any contact with their grandchildren where their parents have separated or divorced. In addition, grandparents can find themselves in the position of full-time carers of their grandchildren for a number of reasons, (e.g. the death of the parent, parental drug abuse, alcoholism or mental health difficulties, domestic abuse or abandonment). This document describes the extent of grandparents’ rights in Ireland. It also describes the difficulties grandparents are having exercising some of these rights as reported by Citizens Information Services (CISs) around the country, supplemented by information from other sources. Finally, grandparents’ rights in other countries are described, together with those that incorporate innovative rights initiatives that recognise the important role grandparents play in family life.en
dc.language.isoenen
dc.relation.ispartofseriesSOCIAL POLICY SERIESen
dc.subjectSOCIAL POLICYen
dc.subjectPARENTen
dc.subjectCHILD HEALTHen
dc.subjectPRIMARY CARE SERVICEen
dc.subject.otherGRANDPARENTS-
dc.titleSupporting grandparents caring for their grandchildren / Francesca Lundströmen
dc.title.alternativeA Comhairle social policy reporten
dc.typeReporten
dc.contributor.departmentComhairleen
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