Both inside and outside the child welfare system, the probability that African American children will live in grandfamilies is more than double that of the overall population, with one in five African American children living in grandfamilies at some point during their childhood.
Over the last few decades, drug epidemics, hurricanes and other tragedies have both created African American grandfamilies and challenged existing ones. The COVID-19 pandemic is the latest such crisis. As of mid-May 2020, African Americans in almost every state collecting racial data have higher rates of infection and death from COVID-19 than whites or Latinos. Despite these most fundamental threats to health and mortality, African Americans retain their commitment and cultural pride in caring for extended family.
This toolkit is designed to give resources and tips to child welfare agencies, other government agencies and nonprofit organizations, so they can better serve all African American grandfamilies. It will explore some of the unique strengths and challenges of these grandfamilies, which agencies and organizations need to recognize in order to provide culturally appropriate supportive services.