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Growing number of of children living with grandparents

Nevada residents may be interested to learn that the number of children who were being raised by their grandparents doubled from 2.4 million in 2000 to 4.9 million in 2010, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau. Grandparents in Nevada and across the nation might get custody of a grandchild because the parents or guardians were no longer fit to raise the child. The Child Welfare Information Gateway states that grandparents often step in to provide for children whose parents abandoned them due to substance abuse problems, mental disorders or serving time in jail.

Parents who can no longer raise their children may be comforted by the idea of their own parents assuming guardianship, as this could mean the children will be raised with similar values, according to the assistant director of Community Child Care Solutions. Many resources are available for grandparents who find themselves in the position of parenting their grandchildren. The AARP GrandFamilies Guide addresses a range of concerns, including childcare, education and legal issues.

Grandparents who need assistance finding financial support or addressing health concerns can obtain a list of resources from the government. The University of Wisconsin cooperative extension provides useful fact sheets that cover common concerns, such as how grandparents can bond with their grandchildren and how to address the disruption in relationships that may occur when the biological parents are no longer in the picture. Grandparents can also check with their local government agencies for help.

Child custody concerns can be challenging for people who are unfamiliar with state law. Grandparents might need assistance in gaining custody of their grandchild, especially in situations where they suspect that the child’s parent is not able to provide adequate care. An attorney could work with grandparents to make them aware of their options and petition for custody if that is what is in a child’s best interest.

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

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