In Illinois, there are 220,088 children under the age of 18 are living in a grandparent-headed home. More than 100,000 grandparents are caring for their grandchildren. The Illinois Department on Aging, in cooperation with the Illinois Task Force on Grandparents Raising Grandchildren, works to locate, assist and promote awareness of older caregivers who are currently raising their family's children.
The Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Program began in 1996 with a grant from the Brookdale Foundation. Additional legislative support has allowed the Department to expand the program, by...
- establishing support groups and providing them with financial and technical assistance;
- providing grandparents with information and referral assistance; and
- training professionals and facilitators to meet grandparents needs.
There are many resources and programs in place to help. For more information on Grandparents and Older Caregivers Raising Children, visit the DCFS website.
Illinois Family Caregiver Support Program
Grandparents and older relatives over the age of 55 raising grandchildren/children are also eligible for services under the Illinois Family Caregiver Support Program.
The five basic services offered to caregivers include...
- Information to caregivers about available services
- Assistance to caregivers in gaining access to services
- Individual counseling, support groups and caregiver training
- Respite care to enable caregivers to be temporarily relieved from their caregiving responsibilities
- Supplemental services, on a limited basis, to complement the care provided by caregivers. Supplemental services can include assistive devices, home modification, legal assistance, transportation, school supplies and any other gap filling service which attempts to address a short-term caregiver emergency
For more information on the Caregiver Program, the local Area Agency on Aging is one of the first resources a caregiver should contact when help is needed. In addition, over 100 Caregiver Resource Centers throughout Illinois have been identified to link caregivers to services.
For more information on the Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Program, contact the Senior HelpLine.
To contact your local Area Agency on Aging, see the information on the AAA page.
See also publications and Web sites related to this program:
, Healthcare for all children, Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services
- Grandparent Information Center, AARP
- Home Safety for Dementia Care by Weill Cornell Medical College is an award-winning web site that provides information on best practices and home safety for dementia care.
- Homeless Education Technical Assistance Program, an Illinois State Board of Education initiative to disseminate information to Illinois schools and shelters as to the educational rights and needs of homeless children and youth.
- Illinois Immunization Program, Illinois Department of Public Health
- Illinois State Board of Education
, Illinois Department of Children and Family Services
, Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services
- Illinois Department of Human Services –
Grandparents who are raising their family's children might also receive assistance through...
- Child care services
- Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Program
- Family case management
- Employment-related child care and youth services