Recession Squeezes 'Grandfamilies'

Layoffs sting rising number of people raising grandkids
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 4, 2009 11:52 AM CDT
Recession Squeezes 'Grandfamilies'
The Dacuses of Bourbon, Mo,. are among the growing number of US grandparents responsible for the basic needs of one or more grandchildren who live with them.   (AP Photo/Tom Gannam)

The recession is putting a serious strain on the safety net millions of American grandparents provide for their grandkids, the Wall Street Journal reports. The number of children who live in a household headed by a grandparent has been rising for decades, but older workers are finding it tough to get interviews, let alone new jobs, and many worry their grandchildren may be taken into foster care.

"This is the worst we've ever seen," said an official in Washington state. "We're hearing of cases where grandfathers who are the families' breadwinner are losing their jobs, of grandmothers who are raising multiple grandchildren and are close to losing their homes to foreclosures." Nationwide, the unemployment rate for workers 55 and older is 6.2%, the highest since 1949. (More grandparents stories.)

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