Missing grandchildren: grandparents' lost contact and implications for social work

Gair, Susan (2017) Missing grandchildren: grandparents' lost contact and implications for social work. Australian Social Work, 70 (3). pp. 263-275.

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Abstract

The critical importance of maintaining family contact and intergenerational relationships for ongoing wellbeing is known to social work. Equally known is the damage caused by severed relationships. Recent literature has suggested an increased incidence of grandparents raising their grandchildren, often after family breakdown. Less evident in the literature is grandparents' experience of reduced, lost, or denied contact with their grandchildren. In the qualitative, exploratory study reported here, the lived experiences of 21 Queensland grandparents were documented through in-depth interviews. The overall findings suggest that disrupted, lost, or denied contact with grandchildren was very distressing and impacted on grandparents' health; that seeking to safeguard and support grandchildren could result in damaged family relationships and denied contact; and that a cycle of lost and regained contact can occur in some circumstances. These findings indicate that an increased role for social workers may be warranted, in listening to and including grandparents when working with families, and recognising grandparents' need for support.

Item ID: 45175
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1447-0748
Keywords: grandparents, lost contact, grandchildren, wellbeing, social work
Funders: Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW)
Date Deposited: 16 Aug 2016 21:59
FoR Codes: 16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1607 Social Work > 160799 Social Work not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9202 Health and Support Services > 920201 Allied Health Therapies (excl. Mental Health Services) @ 40%
93 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 9301 Learner and Learning > 930102 Learner and Learning Processes @ 60%
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