Recent changes in family and society have meant that the roles grandparents take on have changed. Many grandparents are playing a bigger and more responsible part of grandchild care than they may have expected, which means additional pressures on their time, their health and their finances. The increasing importance of grandparents, particularly as carers for children, has positive effects for society as a whole and needs support to continue to be effective.
Why is this issue important?
Changes in society over the last two decades have led to changed roles and greater responsibilities for many grandparents. These changes include:
the increase in the proportion of families with young children where both parents are in the paid workforce
smaller family sizes and a subsequent reduction in the number of extended family members
an increase in the rates of abuse of drugs and alcohol