abstract 5

Littlewood, K. Averett, P., Crowe, A., Cooper, L., & Pandey, A. (2016, October). Peer and professional support for grandparents raising grandchildren: Lessons learned from the KIN Tech Randomized Control Trial.Presented at the American Public Health Association Annual Meeting. Denver, CO.

One in 11 children, 1 in 5 African American children are raised by a grandparent or other relative (GRG). This study will examine the outcomes of the KIN-Tech Kinship Navigator federal demonstration project, the only randomized controlled trial funded by the US Children’s Bureau to investigate how a community kinship navigator program can improve family resiliency, social support and caregiver self-efficacy for grandparents raising grandchildren. 1550 grandparents and other relatives participated in this study in two large counties in a Southeastern state and were randomly assigned to one of four groups stratified by county and caregiving type. Self report data were collected from GRG at baseline, six months, and twelve month follow up. Repeated measures ANOVAS were used. Participants in this study included 1100 female kinship caregivers from low income households (m=$23,000), middle-aged (m=48), unmarried (70%), African American (47%) caring for multiple relative children (65% caring for more than one child). Participants in the navigator and extended family support programs reported a statistically significant improvement in family resilience, social support and caregiver self-efficacy [Navigator Program, F(252,3)=4.88, p = .000] [Extended Family Support, F(849,3)=4.43, p = .000]. Public health and social work programs that connect grandparents and other relatives raising children to needed resources and supports can strengthen the family, increase social support and help grandparent caregivers feel better about how they are raising children the second time around. These improved outcomes can help older caregivers keep children safe and healthy in their own communities.