Grandparents Restoring Families

The United States Census Bureau estimates that 4.4 million children currently live in households with at least one grandparent. As of 2005, the national percentage of grandparents who were responsible for the upbringing of their grandchildren was 42.8 percent. Nearly half of America’s grandparents are being parents again.

Elizabeth Anderson, Regent Law Juris Doctor 2012 Candidate, has written an excellent article about the work of grandparents around America who are caring for their grandchildren. By providing their grandkids with a strong family, they are sacrificing their own golden years autonomy for the greater good. She writes:
"It’s no secret that the concept of a 'traditional family' has changed dramatically over the years. The breakdown of the nuclear family has had a tremendous impact on society, such that it is no longer uncommon to find a child being raised by a single mother, a homosexual couple, or grandparents. The focus of this article is on the third group: grandparents raising grandchildren.
This phenomenon falls under the category of kinship care. Kinship care is defined as 'any form of residential caregiving provided to children by kin, whether full-time or part-time, temporary or permanent, and whether initiated by private family agreement or under the custodial supervision of a state child welfare agency.' This article examines whether kinship care is dis-incentivized when grandparents who raise their grandchildren do not receive the same government assistance as foster parents."

Anderson discusses the background and history of this dilemma, beginning with a description of this rapidly growing phenomenon from a national viewpoint. Her work then examines state statutes, case law, and biblical principles implicated by grandparents raising their grandchildren. The article then presents potential solutions for state legislatures and grandparents who find themselves faced with the decision of whether a grandchild should be placed in foster care or kinship care with grandparents. Read the entire article here.

Many grandparents are becoming the key to strong family restoration for their grandchildren.

1 comment:

  1. As I read this blog, I think about my own family and the impact grandparents have made in my family history. I have been very blessed to have grown up with my natural parents. In addition to having a close relationship with my parents, I also enjoyed (and still enjoy) spending time with my grandparents. In particular, one of my grandfathers was very close to his five grandchildren and played an active part in our lives. It was always obvious to us that we were deeply loved by this man. Although I grew up with my parents, I identify with this blog because my grandfather was raised by his grandparents. Sadly, his natural mother and father were unwilling to care for him. If it had not been for his grandparents' willingness to take him into their home, he might have been placed in an orphanage. My grandfather's grandparents instilled important values in him, such as the value of doing excellent work. As his granddaughter, I am sure I indirectly benefitted from the "kinship care" my grandfather received.