Project Healthy Grandparents (PHG) at Georgia State University provides support services to grandparents raising grandchildren when parents are absent from the home.
As of year 2000, approximately 6.3% of U.S. children under 18 (4.5 million) were living in grandparent-headed households. In Georgia, a grandparent was the primary caregiver in more than 92,000 households, 36,993 of which were in the metro Atlanta area (source Census 2000)
- The program has served more than 800 families and over 1800 children.
- Each family is assigned a social worker who makes home visits.
- The social worker offers assessment, case management, support, counseling, advocacy and referral information.
- Referrals to health resources or monthly visits by a nurse are provided for the well-being of the family members.
- Grandparents meet twice a month for parenting education classes and support groups.
- The Early Intervention Program works with children 0 – 5 years of age who have pre-natal exposure to drugs, alcohol, or HIV/AIDS and have developmental delays as a result.
- All PHG services are provided free of charge to families for one year.
What We Have Learned
- Most of the grandchildren in the project have been neglected, abused or abandoned by their biological parents, often due to substance abuse, death or incarceration.
- The average age of the grandparents is 56.
- Typical health problems of the grandparents include:
High blood pressure