The report also found that 73 percent of children in the sample of grandfamilies had suffered one or more traumatic experiences, and more than 16 percent had suffered four or more. Forty-three percent of the grandparents said their grandchild had a special mental-health need, and more than 17 percent said their grandchild had been diagnosed with a disorder related to trauma. Also, the grandparents participating in the study said they suffered from an average of at least two chronic illnesses.
Almost 300 grandparent caregivers participated in the study through the Caregiver Program for Grandparents Raising Grandchildren between March 2013 and December 2013. Both rural and urban families were interviewed. The study highlights a need for more specialized services for traumatic stress in children and “enhanced legal, financial and health care resources for their caregivers,” Adams writes.
Dr. Ginny Sprang, director of the UK Center for Trauma and Children, served as the principal investigator for the study. To schedule an interview about the study, contact Elizabeth Adams at ElizabethAdams@uky.edu. Electronic copies of the report are also available.