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Generations United Podcast

Generations United

Join our host Donna Butts on The Generations United Podcast for candid and lively conversations with luminaries in the intergenerational field. Tune in to learn how to strengthen our communities and improve the lives of children, youth, and older adults through intergenerational relationships.

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A few months ago, Generations United released our latest set of free resources—developed with support from RRF Foundation for Aging—aimed to strengthen and expand intergenerational programs. The publications—Making the Case for Intergenerational Programs, Fact Sheet: Intergenerational Programs Benefit Everyone, and Staying Connected While Staying Apart: Intergenerational Programs & the COVID-19 Pandemic—support the growing field of practice by increasing the knowledge and skills of people working to connect and support older adults, children, and youth.
Mary O'Donnell, president of RRF, joined our Executive Director Donna Butts and Ernest Gonzales, Ph.D., who led the development of Generations United's new resources. Dr. Gonzales is also an associate professor and director of the MSW Program at NYU Silver School of Social Work.
This episode focuses on how the RRF Foundation for Aging came to include intergenerational programs in their funding priorities and what the Foundation has learned about intergenerational programs. The episode also explores what Dr. Gonzales and his research team learned while creating the intergenerational tools.
Other resources mentioned during this interview include:

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A new study from Generations United, Family Matters: Multigenerational Living Is on the Rise and Here to Stay, finds that the number of Americans living in a multigenerational household with three or more generations has nearly quadrupled over the past decade, with a dramatic increase of 271 percent from 2011 to 2021 (7 percent vs. 26 percent). Our report found that 66 percent of those living in a multigenerational household say the economic climate was a factor in their living arrangement. Among the top reported causes, 34 percent said the need for eldercare was a reason and 34% said childcare was a reason.
In this episode—Larry Nisenson, senior vice president and chief commercial officer of Genworth's U.S. Life Insurance Division—joins Generations United's Executive Director Donna Butts to discuss his own role as a caregiver to his parents, ways employee caregivers can advocate for resources, and how employers can support employee caregivers.
"The best we can do as the advocates for caregivers is try and tell that story and arm the emerging caregiver with all of the tools and help we can provide for them to make that burden as easy as we can." —Larry Nisenson
Resources mentioned in the show:
• Family Matters: Multigenerational Living Is on the Rise and Here to Stay
• GenWorth sites for advocacy: and

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Across the U.S., more than 2.7 million children are growing up in grandfamilies — families in which grandparents, other adult family members, or close family friends are raising children.
Generations United, with support from the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, created a brief and national comparison chart,
Adoption and Guardianship for Children in Kinship Foster Care, which focuses on adoption and guardianship for children in kinship foster care, so that these children can exit foster care into permanent families.
In this episode, Ana Beltran, co-director of the National Center on Grandfamilies, is joined by Generations United's GRAND Voice Network Members Ms. Genia LaRese Newkirk and Mr. Keith Lowhorne .
Ms. Newkirk took guardianship of her niece, Nadia, after becoming licensed as a foster parent. Ms. Newkirk had never met Nadia before and didn’t know about her. They were not offered North Carolina’s Guardianship Assistance Program because the state limits their program to children age 14 and older, and Nadia is about 8 years old.
Mr. Lowhorne, with his wife, adopted three grandchildren from foster care in Alabama: Kayren, about age 7; Kaiser, about age 6; and Harper about age 4.
Ms. Newkirk and Mr. Lowhorne talk about the options offered and not offered to them when they decided to keep the children in their lives out of the foster care system.
Ana offers resources for families in this situation.
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For over 40 years, DOROT has been an innovative leader in designing programs that enhance the lives of older adults by helping them build social connections with peers and other generations.
In this episode, DOROT's Executive Director Mark Meridy discusses the organization's origin and shares inspirational stories of generations connecting through their work.
In this episode, Generations United's Executive Director Donna Butts referenced our report with The Eisner Foundation, I Need You, You Need Me: The Young, The Old, and What We Can Achieve Together, which highlights national examples—like DOROT—that are reuniting the generations and making their communities better places to live.

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Across the United States, more than 2.65 million children live in grandfamilies — families in which grandparents, other adult family members or close family friends are raising children – with no parents in the home. Frequently, these families come together at a moment’s notice. In an instant, the home of the new grandfamily is inadequate for their suddenly expanded household.
A new report from Generations United,
A Place to Call Home: Building Affordable Housing for Grandfamilies, found less than one in three eligible grandfamilies receive housing assistance and details the housing challenges these families face.
In this episode, Generations United's longtime Special Advisor and the report's author Ana Beltran is joined by Olivia Chase, a Generations United GRAND Voice Network Member. They discuss our new report and the benefits of affordable housing for grandparents and other relative caregivers raising children.

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