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Barbara L. Jouette, Attorney, P.C.
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More children being raised by grandparents

Texas grandparents may know that raising a grandchild could present various difficulties. However, state and local agencies are attempting to make this process easier.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the number of grandparents raising their grandchildren has increased since 2000. In that year, 2.4 million children were being raised by their grandparents, but by 2010, that number more than doubled to reach 4.9 million. An assistant director from the Community Child Care Solutions stated that the increase might be attributed to a number of reasons, including parental incarceration, child abandonment or the death of a parent. Moreover, state agencies like the New Jersey Department of Child and Families often try to place children with relatives or acquaintances familiar to the child.

With the increase of grandparents as the primary caretakers, state and local agencies have created resources to help them. For instance, in Oklahoma, a local recycler, police departments and aging services have initiated a program to help grandparents obtain the necessary supplies for the upcoming school year. Additionally, the University of Wisconsin has published information on a variety of topics on forming close bonds and child development to aid grandparents. The AARP has also issued a guide that advises grandparents on financial and legal issues, education, support and childcare.

When the family restructures, such as when a grandparent takes over the parental duties, legal questions may arise. Consulting with an attorney with experience in family law may be beneficial to grandparents who wish to set up formal guardianship of a grandchild.

Source: Deseret News, "At granny's house: More children raised by grandparents than before", Lois M. Collins, August 05, 2014

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