Stepping Up For The Children (Grandparenting)

Ready or not, more grandparents are raising their grandchildren

Chemical Dependency is stranding children like never before. Opioid addiction, in particular, has made unprecedented numbers of parents unfit for the job.

So, whos raising the children? It has become quite clear that Grandparents across the island and the United Kingdom are stepping up to this role. Research from a leading Paediatrician and Child Development researcher Andrew Adesman, MD and Health sciences author, Christine Adamec teamed up to write a first-of-its-kind self-help book for Grandparents calledThe Grandfamiy Guidebook: Wisdom and Support for Grandparents Raising Grandchildren.

This book is available from Silkworth Charity Group and is a godsend for lots of grandparents navigating this new new normal for themselves and their grandchildren as the result of the birth parents’ drug and/or alcohol addiction, immaturity, incarceration or other issues.



While ‘grandfamilies’ are often formed in crisis situations, they are built and strengthened over time. This is something that Christine Adamec knows firsthand, as she and her husband have been raising their 12-year-old grandson since child protection caseworkers showed up on their doorstep with him as an infant.

“Raising a family for the second time around can be very disorienting, It certainly was a new role for us, and all kinds of recommendations and guidelines had changed since we were first parents, starting with really basic questions such as whether to place a baby on his stomach or back to sleep.”
– Christine Adamec


From coping with difficult birth parents to handling legal, medical and financial issues to addressing problem behaviours and school challenges, The Grandfamily Guidebook offers expert advice along with practical tips, helpful scenarios, trusted resources and powerful insights from other grandparents whove been there. Grandparents describe a dizzying range of feelings as they take on the role of parenting again, from shock to joy and everything in between.

The book also highlights findings from Dr. Adesmans grand family Study, a comprehensive nationwide survey of more than 700 grandparents raising their grandchildren. Among the key findings:

  • Most grandparents raising their grandchildren were in their 50s (44%) or 60s (31%)
  • Many grandparents were still employed full-time (32%)
  • Nearly half of the grandfamilies had more than one child (46%)
  • Most Grandparents had been raising their grandchildren for three or more years (69%)
  • Most grandparents had taken legal steps for custody/guardianship (62%) or adoption (19%)


It can be daunting to start the parenting job all over again at the age of 50, 60 or older, Family dynamics are complicated and the daily tasks of parenting are demanding, but nearly all of the grandparents I surveyed said that knowing what they know now, they would do it all over again.
– Andrew Adesman, MD


As one grandparent in the Adesman study commented, Life is not perfect. It is messy, frustrating, funny, emotional – a hilarious roller coaster ride. Buckle up.” Adesman concurs that all sorts of ups and downs are part of the grand family journey. “But the bottom line is love.”

A statement from one grandparent really evaluates beautifully the value of their intervention when taking on the parental role of their grandchildren. Its this kind of love that makes a grand family so special. “When our grandchildren needed us, we stepped up and assumed responsibility for their care and wellbeing.”  This is real love and something that cannot be ignored.


Are you a grandparent who can relate to the sentiments highlighted in this leaflet?

Call to speak confidentially with one of our experts now at 01534 729060 or email

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