FASD Caregiving by Grandparents: Love, Reward, and Challenge

“It’s rewarding because I get the love: Grandparents raising grandchildren with FASD”, the title of a 2022 study published in the Child & Family Social Work journal has examined the experiences of grandparents who are raising grandchildren with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD). Through in-depth interviews with 10 grandparents, the study sheds light on the challenges and rewards of this caregiving role.

It found that grandparents who are caring for grandchildren with FASD face a range of challenges, including behavioural issues, educational difficulties, and financial strain, which can lead to feelings of isolation, guilt, and frustration. Despite these challenges, grandparents reported feeling love and satisfaction in their role as caregivers.

The study emphasizes the importance of building a supportive network of professionals, family members, and other caregivers to help grandparents navigate the challenges of raising grandchildren with FASD. Grandparents may also need specific support and resources to help them provide optimal care for their grandchildren, such as access to FASD-informed trainingand resources, respite care, and financial support.

The prevalence of FASD in Canada is estimated to be around 4% of the population. This means that many grandparents in Canada may be caring for grandchildren with FASD. As the population ages and the number of grandparents raising grandchildren continues to grow, it is important for policymakers and healthcare professionals in Canada to recognize and address the challenges faced by these caregivers.

The findings of this study underscore the need for targeted support and resources for grandparents raising grandchildren with FASD, as well as the importance of recognizing and supporting the unique role that grandparents play in the lives of children with FASD.

In conclusion, the study highlights the importance of providing targeted support and resources for grandparents raising grandchildren with FASD in Canada. With the right support and resources, grandparents can provide optimal care for their grandchildren and help them lead fulfilling lives, while also receiving the recognition and support they deserve as caregivers.