More than 400,000 American children and youth are in foster care today. This month offers a time to highlight the experiences and urgent needs these children and those that step up and become caregivers. Many of these children that were abused and neglected will reunite with their parents, be adopted into loving homes, or be cared for by relatives. Generations United would like to highlight the importance of relative and grandparent caregivers that step in when a child is in need of a loving and stable home.
According to the U.S. Census, there are almost 7.8 million children living in homes where grandparents or other relatives are the householders, with more than 5.8 million children living in grandparents’ homes and nearly 2 million children living in other relatives’ homes. More than 2.5 million grandparents report they are primarily responsible for the children living with them. Relative caregivers often feel isolated and lack information about support services. Relative caregivers save taxpayers more than $6.5 billion every year by keeping children out of foster care, while often having financial problems themselves.
Despite the challenges and stress that follows raising a child, relative caregivers continue to provide support, offering foster children a chance to stay connected to their family. As we celebrate National Foster Care Month Generations United would like to recognize relative caregivers and the sacrifices made to give children a safe a loving home.
For more information on the important role grandparents and other relatives play in the lives of children see: