Entries onto Public Assistance among Children Living with Grandparents

Peter D. Brandon, University of Massachusetts
Jeromey Temple, Australian National University

Considerable increases in the numbers of grandchildren in grandparent-headed households have prompted concerns over their economic wellbeing and grandparents' access to public assistance. Using data from the Survey of Income and Program Participation, I profile the economic wellbeing of grandchildren in grandparent-headed households and estimate the risks of welfare entries. Findings suggest that family structure is pivotal to understanding differences in economic disadvantage and welfare entries of grandchildren in grandparent-headed households. Although grandchildren in grandmother-only no-parent-present families are the most likely to be poor, they are not the grandchildren most likely to enter into welfare. The grandchildren who are most likely to enter into welfare live in grandparent-headed households with single mothers present.

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Presented in Poster Session 3: Families, Parenting, Adolescents, and Children