Grandparents Raising Grandchildren: National GrandRally 2011

September 15, 2011 at 1:00 p.m.

West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol Building, Washington, DC

An increasing number of grandparents have become full-time caregivers for their grandchildren due to AIDS/HIV, child abuse and neglect, domestic violence, substance abuse, incarceration. United States Census 2000 indicates that 4.5 million of our nation’s poorest children reside in grandparent-headed households and that number is escalating rapidly. Data indicates that approximately one-third of these children have no parent present in the home. The number of children in grandparent-headed households has increased 30 percent since 1990. Further, the literature on this phenomenon suggests that there are probably many more children in informal care arrangements residing with their grandparents than the data can capture.

AARP indicates that the majority of grandparents rearing grandchildren are between
ages 55 and 64. Approximately 20 to 25 percent are 65 or older. While grandparent-headed families cross all socio-economic levels, these grandparents are more likely to live in poverty than are other grandparents.  AARP materials also state that there are eight
times more children in grandparent-headed homes than in the foster care system.

Caring for their grandchildren can have life altering consequences for the grandparents.
Many grandparents have not planned to raise a second family or may be retired
and living on a fixed income. Having sufficient income or resources to provide
housing, food, clothing, medicine, and school supplies for their grandchildren
may be of critical concern. Research indicates that children raised by their
grandparents are more likely than children in traditional foster care to live
in poverty, to have special health and educational needs, and to lack access to
health care.

To let their voices be heard thousands of grandparents raising grandchildren travel to Washington, DC, from countless states to: participate in the National GrandRally, meet with their elected officials, and make their voices heard in support of the needs of kids and their caregivers.

Source(s): CDF, AARP, CWLA, Generations United.

Photo credit:Microsoft Clip Art

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