Grandparents for Family Restoration

In her excellent article entitled, "Here We Go Again: The Financial Difficulties Faced By Grandparents Raising Grandchildren," Elizabeth Anderson, Regent Law Juris Doctor 2012, considers the valor of grandparents who raise their grandchildren. She identifies the courage needed to take on such family responsibilities and writes,

"You’ve finally made it: retirement. After more than forty years in the workforce, you can finally take that dream vacation, buy that motorcycle you always wanted, or learn to fly an airplane. Then you receive an unexpected phone call from your recently-divorced son. He has been charged with a felony and is facing jail time. He needs you to take care of your seven-year-old granddaughter. You have money saved up for you to live off of, but you never expected bringing another person into your home. What are you going to do?

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 will examine whether kinship care is dis-incentivized when grandparents who raise their grandchildren do not receive the same government assistance as foster parents.

Section I discusses the background and history of this dilemma. Section II examines state statutes, case law, as well as biblical principles implicated by grandparents raising their grandchildren. Finally, Section III will present 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." Read her entire article here.

The rapidly growing phenomenon of grandparents restoring a family for their grandchildren is a picture of love and courage, from those who have already been there, and are willing to lay aside their own self interests to provide for the best interests of grandchildren in need of a strong family.

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