Graduation Semester and Year




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Social Work


Social Work

First Advisor

Noelle L Fields

Second Advisor

Anne Nordberg


Grandparent caregiving is a widespread form of kinship care in the U.S. More than 2.7 million of grandparents in the U.S. are the primary caregivers for grandchildren without parental involvement (US Census Bureau, 2012). A particular group among grandparent caregivers often excluded in social services are those that are raising grandchildren informally without child welfare involvement. Informal grandparent caregivers (IGCs) are increasing and will continue to play significant roles in raising grandchildren for many generations (Ehrle et. al., 2001; Gibson & Singh, 2004; Goodman & Silverman, 2001). The National Family Caregiving Support Program (NFCSP) was enacted in 2000 and provides funding for state and community level programs serving informal grandparent caregivers (IGCs) ages 55 and up. The NFCSP is the first attempt in provide national level aid to IGCs. California has the highest number of grandparent caregivers and the highest number of support programs available. The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore administrative perspectives of lead staff that manage programs serving grandparents raising grandchildren in California funded by the NFCSP. To do this, information was collected from 15 lead staff members in the state of California to answer the following research questions: 1. How are IGCs served by programs serving grandparent caregivers? 2. How do programmatic factors and activities influence service provision to IGCs? Using social exchange theories of the agency and rational choice models, four themes related to service delivery to IGCs emerged: 1) frequently used services, 2) agency collaboration, 3) service challenges, and 4) statutory challenges. The findings of this study suggest that, though, informal grandparent caregiving is a growing phenomenon, national policies should loosen the boundaries to make more social support available to IGCs.


Grandparent caregivers, National Family Caregiving Support Program, NFCSP


Social and Behavioral Sciences | Social Work


Degree granted by The University of Texas at Arlington

Included in

Social Work Commons