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Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Program

In Illinois, there are 263,890 children under the age of 18 living in homes where a relative is head of household. More than 70,000 grandparents are caring for their grandchildren. The Illinois Department on Aging, in cooperation with the Illinois Task Force on Grandparents Raising Grandchildren, works to locate, assist and promote awareness of older caregivers who are currently raising their family's children.

The Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Program began in 1996 with a grant from the Brookdale Foundation. Additional legislative support has allowed the Department to expand the program, by...

  • establishing support groups and providing them with financial and technical assistance;

  • providing grandparents with information and referral assistance; and

  • training professionals and facilitators to meet grandparents needs.

There are many resources and programs in place to help. For more information on Grandparents and Older Caregivers Raising Children, visit the DCFS website.

Illinois Family Caregiver Support Program

Grandparents and older relatives over the age of 55 raising grandchildren/children are also eligible for services under the Illinois Family Caregiver Support Program.

The five basic services offered to caregivers include...

  1. Information to caregivers about available services

  2. Assistance to caregivers in gaining access to services

  3. Individual counseling, support groups and caregiver training

  4. Respite care to enable caregivers to be temporarily relieved from their caregiving responsibilities

  5. Supplemental services, on a limited basis, to complement the care provided by caregivers. Supplemental services can include assistive devices, home modification, legal assistance, transportation, school supplies and any other gap filling service which attempts to address a short-term caregiver emergency.

For more information on the Caregiver Program, the local Area Agency on Aging is one of the first resources a caregiver should contact when help is needed. In addition, over 100 Caregiver Resource Centers throughout Illinois have been identified to link caregivers to services.



For more information on the Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Program, contact the Senior HelpLine.

To contact your local Area Agency on Aging, see the information on the AAA page.

See also publications related to tis program:

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