Grandparents raising their grandchildren- Part 1

Learn about the increasing statistic of grandparents raising their grandchildren.

A grandparent who raises their grandchild or grandchildren has recently been on the rise, says Michigan State University Extension. According to the Child Welfare League of America, 6 million children in the U.S. are being raised by grandparents and 2.6 million grandparents are raising their grandchildren. The child welfare policy and practice continues to evolve, resulting in more of a focus on helping to prevent children from entering foster care. This has sparked a lot of issues for the grandparents who are responsible for their grandchildren.  

Some of the issues grandparents are faced with include lack of resources such as money, space and time.  They also can have a difficult time taking care of the everyday responsibilities associated with caring for a young child or children.  If the children are being cared for by grandparents, often times the parents are not in the picture for one reasons or another.  Some possibilities could be that the birth parents are substance abusers, incarcerated or possibly deceased.  Of course if the birth parent is still alive the grandparent will worry about the wellbeing of their own child along with the emotional health and wellbeing of their grandchild, or grandchildren. Only 28 states in the U.S. give relative care provider’s medical consent so getting medical help, mental health and counseling help can be difficult if grandparents aren’t aware of resources available to them. 

The AARP organization has some resources available to grandparents in addition to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services offices. Visit the websites for more information.

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