Monday, April 06, 2009

'Grandfamilies' Come Under Pressure (Wall Street Journal)

Saturday's Wall Street Journal included a very thoughtful story on the hardship grandfamilies are facing in the economic downturn. The article reports that older workers often have greater trouble in finding new employment after losing their jobs. Extended unemployment can present unique risks for grandfamilies. Additionally, as our own Ken Bryson points out in the article, the rate of grandfamilies continues to grow in the country.

Despite the difficulties grandfamilies may be facing, it's heartening to know that children being raised by grandparents and other relatives have a loving grandparent committed to their future. These grandparents have made great sacrifices to make sure our nation's children stay out of the foster care system (at great benefit for taxpayers) and deserve our support.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I, as a grandparent in my late 60s,
along with my husband, have been retired since 1998. We were retired when we took custody of our son's 3 children and social services knew we were, but begged us to take these children out of foster care or they would be split up and sent to different cities acrossed Virginia. We live in California. The children were 3,7 and 12 at the time( Nov. 2004). We receive no financial help from Virginia and California only offeres non needy relative support, which does not cover the expense of one child let alone 3. We are greatful for this but we have gone through our savings and are now living on our social security and my husband's small teacher's retirement. We can not even get food stamps for these children.

I have written before about this but I have yet to have any one offer any kind of financial help or information where we can get help other than the pat on the back.

We are not the only grandparents or relatives going through this.
Foster care homes get more help then the relative care giver. When social service promises financial help, they should not go back on their word once they have given custody of the foster child to a relative whether grandparet or other relative.

Please get the bill funded so that myself and others raising relative children get financial help they need and deserve. Please see that we get our share of this funding and not foster care.

I love my grandchildren dearly and would not have done anything differently. We just need financial help so the children get the necessary help they deserve. They are not at fault for their being put in foster care. We also need help in our oldest grandchild get help with her college expenses.
She graduates June 2010 and has a GPA of 3.6. We can not pay for her college and still raise the remaining 2 children.