Today’s society has experienced many advances but also many challenges and Indiana families everywhere may be influenced by these. One of the trends that can be seen is the rise in the number of grandparents stepping in to raise their grandchildren. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are an estimated 2.6 million grandparents who are doing just this, more than twice the number in 1970.
The Atlantic explains that the reasons for grandparents to assume responsibility for their grandchildren vary from the death of parents to mental health or substance abuse issues and more. There are many benefits to children when they are raised by grandparents as they have the chance for the love and stability that a child needs. There are also some unique challenges for grandparents including the fact that they must balance their own health issues that arise due to age along with a potentially tough financial situation as they may be living on limited retirement resources.
For grandparents who are licensed as foster parents, some states offer financial assistance under a law passed in 2008. However, most grandparents are not in this category and some even shy away from this. Many end up raising their grandchildren without any legal status and that can be a scary situation.
NextAvenue reports that in 2018 a new law was passed with bi-partison support that creates a federal agency designed to provide support to grandparents to foster the health, education and overall well-being of the grandchildren they are raising.