In response to the increasing rate of grandparent-headed homes and the needs of grandparents and grandchildren, we engaged in a community-university partnership to develop, implement, and evaluate a grandchildren-mentoring program. Prior to developing the grandchildren-mentoring program, a county needs assessment was conducted. The needs assessment revealed that grandparents wanted opportunities for mentorship of their grandchildren. As a result, we partnered with an undergraduate practicum course to create a new option of college students engaging with grandchildren. During our inaugural grandchildren-mentoring program, we conducted focus groups/interviews with grandparents (n = 5) and grandchildren (n = 7) at the end of the nine-month program. Data analysis of the focus group transcripts revealed that grandparents believed the two-hour weekly meetings (between the grandchildren and the student mentor) provided respite and grandparents would enjoy having a student again. Grandchildren commented they trusted their student mentors and did not like that they could not see them after the program ended. The grandchild-mentoring program was well received by grandparents and grandchildren and, although it was designed to support grandchildren, the program met a stated need of grandfamilies in our community. As a result, this program may be beneficial to both grandparents and grandchildren and other university-community partnerships should consider working with students to implement similar programming to support grandfamilies.
Fruhauf, C. A.,
Mendoza, A. N.,
(2020). Utilizing a Community-University Partnership to Meet Grandfamilies’ Needs: Development and Evaluation of a Grandchildren-mentoring Program. GrandFamilies: The Contemporary Journal of Research, Practice and Policy, 6 (1).
Available at: https://scholarworks.wmich.edu/grandfamilies/vol6/iss1/7