Grandparents raising their grandchildren: an uneasy position

Document Type


Publication details

Backhouse, J & Graham, A 2009, 'Grandparents raising their grandchildren: an uneasy position', Elder Law Review, vol. 6.

Peer Reviewed



Whilst the phenomenon of grandparents caring for grandchildren is not new in Australia, there is growing acknowledgement in the community that the number of children in such care arrangements is growing and that relatively little is known about how such developments are shaping the lives and identities of the grandparents involved. This paper draws on the findings of a recent qualitative study that investigated the experiences of 34 grandparents currently raising their grandchildren. The findings suggest these care arrangements take place in a complex space marked by paradox and ambiguity, particularly in relation to the grandparents’ social, financial and legal status, as well as their social and emotional well-being, that current policy contexts fail to adequately recognise.