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Title: Looking after grandchildren: unfair and differential impacts?
Authors: Piper, C
Issue Date: 2017
Publisher: Routledge
Citation: Gender, Aging and Family Law
Abstract: ‘Looking after grandchildren: unfair and differential impacts?’ Many grandparents are busy people and, for some, that it is because of their ‘grandparent duties’. These ‘duties’ may be undertaken full time, as a regular weekly commitment or on particular days such as school holidays or when a grandchild or her parent is ill. And while caring for grandchildren is for many a source of pleasure, they may also speak of a sense of moral obligation and, in some cases, feelings of being ‘put upon’ and being ‘too old for all this’. You may hear it remarked that it is because there are more families with both parents working full-time or more parents divorcing and living apart that grandparents now have more of these ‘grandparent duties’. Such anecdotal evidence raises important questions. Has there been an increase in the use of grandparent care, whether full-time or part-time? If so, what are the reasons? Are there similar trends in other countries? Do grandparents feel they have a choice? And, importantly, are there any problematic issues relating to gender and to the age of the grandparents? This chapter will first consider the research evidence for any significant trends in care-giving by grandparents - placing this in the context of what is known about grand-parenting in the recent and more distant past – and evaluating the reasons. It will then focus on any differential effects in terms of gender and age before analysing the development – within the context of law and policy - of what emerges as the most important issue, that of grandparent care for those children who would otherwise be in the care of the state.
Appears in Collections:Dept of Social Sciences Media and Communications Embargoed Research Papers

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