Grandparents and poverty

The Commission has been working in partnership with Grandparents Plus, to examine the grandparental contribution in today's families, and the impact this has on child poverty and older people's poverty. The interim report, The Poor Relation?, was published in June 2009 and found that the experience of grandparents is polarised by class, with working age women on low incomes providing the highest levels of childcare.

The final report, Protect, support, provide, launched on 2 March 2010,  focuses on the role grandparents play in families who are particularly at risk of poverty: single parent families, Pakistani, Bangladeshi and Black Caribbean families, families with disabled children and/or disabled parents and kinship carers. This looks at the implications for grandparents in terms of their ability to engage with the labour market (and their finances), as well as their health and general well-being.

Alongside this report, the Commission published a policy response setting out what interventions are needed to ensure that grandparents and their needs are not overlooked. This includes: ensuring that the wider family is considered in the push to increase the number of lone parents in employment; the extension of the right to request flexible working to all employees (to enable grandparents to balance their care and work responsibilities); improved childcare; a renewed push to encourage older people to take-up the benefits to which they are entitled; a human rights-based approach to tackling poverty to ensure that those people experiencing socio-economic disadvantage are engaged to ensure that policies are effective and targeted.


Protect, support, provide: examining the role of grandparents in families at risk of poverty

PDF version | Word version | Executive summary PDF

Policy response: Protect, support, provide

PDF version | Word version

Related resources

Last Updated: 12 Dec 2014