Kinship Care; All in the Multigenerational Grandfamilies
Multigenerational families come in all shapes and sizes today. Longevity has given us many gifts, one of which is to see our family tree branch and bloom during our lifetime. How many of us know families with four and five generations alive today? According to the Stepping Up for Kids report from the Ann E. Casey Foundation, one in eleven children are now raised by grandparents. These families are called grandfamilies or kinship care. As a former Guardian Ad Litem I have witnessed Family Court judges encouraging grandparents and other relatives to assume legal responsibility for dependent children as a form of foster care under the court’s supervision.
Grandparents who accept this responsibility are amazing. They continue to create the family quilt at the expense of their own financial needs. CNN Money estimates the lifetime cost of raising a child at $245,000 in 2014. Grandparents take on the hectic activity schedules of children, health care, education, housing, legal and other costs if the child has special needs. Most of us cannot shoulder these costs on a fixed retirement income, or after the age of 50 when our financial focus should be preparing for retirement. Ann E. Casey Foundation, The Children’s Defense Fund, and The Child Welfare League work at the State and National level creating Kinship programs addressing these needs.
State and National initiatives are emerging today building Circles of Care to address vulnerable grandfamilies with community based programs. Teams of specialists who intervene and support kinship care are having a positive impact on all the generations living as one unit including:
REUNIONCare applauds all the selfless grandfamilies and #kinship care families as we strive to change the way we care for each other. None of us can go it alone, we encourage you to build that Circle of Care for your journey forward as you keep it All in the Family...the multigenerational grandfamily.
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