One in 20 children in Tennessee is being raised by grandparent.

The Kid Count Report from the Annie E. Casie Foundation notes that 9% of youth live with extended family for at least 3 consecutive moths at some point before age 18.

The role of grandparents can range from full custody to caring for children after school while the parents work. Issues from custody arrangements, financial support and raising children in the technology age need to be discussed.  Grandparents often lack key information about the range of support services, resources, programs, benefits, laws and policies available to help them successfully fulfill their caregiving role.

The Council on Aging of Greater Nashville created Empowering Grandparents: A Guide for Grandparents Raising Grandchildren© to address the needs of Middle Tennessee grandparents serving in this capacity.


Print copies are available for FREE at the COA office.


Empowering Grandparents: A Guide for Grandparents Raising Grandchildren© is a booklet addressing the needs of these caregivers by providing specific information, resources and support to assist in grandparents in this role covering topics such as:

Getting Started

Legal and Financial Matters

As Your Grandchild Grows

Relationships and Emotions

Children & Today’s Technology

Working With Schools

Changes in Children’s Healthcare

Taking Care of Yourself

General Resources

Grandparents Raising Grandchildren | Aging Matters | NPT Reports

Tips for taking care of yourself while raising grandchildren:

  • Do not let caring for your grandchild interfere with your medical appointments or filling your prescriptions.
  • Update your doctor(s) on the change in your responsibilities as you begin caring for your grandchild.
  • If you are still working, ask your employer for any programs that may offer assistance to you.  The company might offer flexible hours or to work longer days in order to work less days.
  • Eating properly will keep you energized and keep you on track for good health as well providing a good example for your grandchild.
  • Ask for help. Make a list small and large ways family and friends can support you.
  • Have a “family conference” of close and extended family members. Share how your life and other family members are changing.
  • Let your friends know how you would still like to see them, but you might need to plan ahead.
  • Utilize after school programs, summer break camps or babysitters to take a break for yourself.  A break will help your mood and give you the opportunity to participate in activities you enjoy and maintain friendships.
  • Seek out a support group for grandparents.

Websites Suggested for Grandparents Raising Grandchildren:

American Association of Retired Persons, Grandparent Information Center.

The Foundation for Grandparenting – to raise grandparent consciousness, discuss aspects of grandparenting news and resources or relatives raising children.

The Foster Care & Adoptive Community site purpose: training; share information between foster, adoptive families, and all other professions working with abused and neglected children.

www.grandsplace.com-Great, well organized site for state, legal, financial and social resources for raising children.

Family Law Advisor home page – information on grandparent issues and state-by-state resources.