This paper reviews literature on grandparents raising grandchildren, focusing on caregiving challenges and resilience in African American grandparent caregivers within a socio-cultural context. A strengths perspective that emphasizes capacities and competencies at the individual, family, and community levels is applied in understanding how African American grandparents rely on their strengths to overcome caregiving challenges. Building on the review of social programs and intervention services that targeted empowerment practice, the authors propose an empowerment model of working with African American grandparents, that is, building capacities through an empowerment process to address caregiving challenges and to achieve positive caregiving outcomes. Finally, the paper discusses the empowerment model with particular attention to its practice implications for social workers and other helping professions.

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