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Home > Caring for grandchildren in kinship care: what difficulties face Irish grandparents with drug-dependent children?

O'Leary, Megan and Butler, Shane (2015) Caring for grandchildren in kinship care: what difficulties face Irish grandparents with drug-dependent children? Journal of Social Work Practice in the Addictions, 15, (4), pp. 352-372. DOI: 10.1080/1533256X.2015.1090999.


This article presents the findings of a small qualitative study of the experience of Irish grandparents providing full-time care for grandchildren whose birth parents were drug-dependent. In addition to the stresses and strains directly associated with caregiving of this kind, grandparents also reported considerable dissatisfaction with the support they received from statutory health and social service systems. In particular, they were critical of the attitudes of child protection social workers who, it was suggested, believed that grandparent carers in these circumstances did not need or deserve formal support.

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