Grandfamilies Share Stories of COVID-19 Hardships and Hope

This segment was produced by StoryCorps, a non-profit whose mission is to preserve and share humanity’s stories in order to build connections between people and create a more just and compassionate world.

In summer 2020, StoryCorps recorded these conversations as part of a project that focused on helping us understand the unique impacts COVID-19 is having on various types of families, including grandfamilies. It was made possible with support from the Brookdale Foundation Group, Casey Family Programs and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and in partnership with Generations United. The participants are members of Generation United’s GRAND Voices Network.

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Story Anntesha Chesterson and Alison Caliendo
Anntesha Chesterton tells her colleague at Foster Kinship, Alison Caliendo, about the joys and challenges of being a grandfamily caregiver. Foster Kinship helps families with children who can’t live safely with their parents or whose parents have passed away.
Story Cassandra Gentry and Kim Gray
Friends Cassandra Gentry and Karen Gray discuss the challenges they face as grandparents during the COVID-19 pandemic. Both have two grandchildren.
Story Joanne Clough and Diane Roznowski
Joanne Clough tells her daughter Diane Roznowski about her experience as a grandfamily caregiver and how their family is getting through the COVID-19 pandemic. Joanne has cared for her granddaughter Carter since 2016, after her oldest daughter Emily died of an opioid overdose. We hear first from Diane.
Story Karen Gillespie and Pat Ozley
Karen Gillespie and Pat Ozley share their stories about adjusting to raising grandchildren during the COVID-19 pandemic. We hear first from Karen.