Facing a Pandemic: Grandfamilies Living Together During COVID-19 and Thriving Beyond

Dec 29, 2020

Nationwide, older adults are being cautioned to keep their distance from children because of the heightened risk of infection from COVID-19. But for some families—grandfamilies—that distance is impossible.

Facing a Pandemic: Families Living Together During COVID-19 and Thriving Beyond elevates the unique needs of grandfamilies amplified by the pandemic. These grandfamily caregivers are the first line of defense for children during the pandemic, having stepped in when parents cannot raise them for many reasons, including cases where children’s parents have died from the COVID-19 virus.

The report contains solutions to connect grandfamilies to critical supports during this crisis and to create system that will continue to serve them well. These include:

  • State, tribal, and local governments deploying the use of COVID response dollars with grandfamilies in mind
  • Authentically engaging kinship caregivers, birthparents, foster parents, and young people in the design and implementation of services that impact them
  • Investing in and increasing the reach of kinship navigator programs to help grandfamilies connect to resources and supports
  • Improving access to Temporary Assistance for Needy Family (TANF) child-only grants
  • Licensing more relatives as foster parents

The 2020 State of Grandfamilies Report was made possible with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Casey Family Programs.