Dr Backhouse has completed a PhD at Southern Cross University. Her research topic investigated the ‘lived experiences’ of Australian grandparents who are raising their grandchildren due to their own adult children's inability to take on the parenting role.
Jan is a grandmother herself, with 12 grandchildren ranging in age from 2-22 years old. She is a member of the NSW Council on the Ageing’s Grandparent, Relative and Kinship Caring Alliance, which works to raise awareness of the issues faced by grandparents, relative and kinship carers.
Jan has a great interest in children's issues and her doctoral research was supervised by Professor Anne Graham, Director of the Centre for Children and Young People at Southern Cross University. Together, Jan and Anne are writing and publishing journal articles that focus on grandparent-headed families in Australia.