When children can no longer live with their biological parents, state and local agencies in New Jersey try to place them with close relatives first. According to 2010 census data, an increasing number of those displaced children are now living with their grandparents. In the 2000 census, 2.4 million children were reportedly living with their grandparents. Ten years later, that number more than doubled to 4.9 million.
The relocation of children away from their original home could happen as a result of a parent’s substance abuse, incarceration or mental disorder. In other cases, a parent could have abandoned their child or died. By moving children to their grandparents’ home, the children may be able to enjoy the comfort of familiar values and traditions that they are used to.
To help grandparents who are raising their grandchildren, state and local agencies across the country are offering financial support and other resources. Some communities have provided things like backpacks filled with school supplies, and others have published informative fact sheets about all aspects of parenting.
In addition to all of the parenting strategies they may need to relearn, grandparents raising their grandchildren may have a number of legal issues to take care of as well. If the grandparents need to work out a temporary or permanent custody agreement for their grandchildren, a family law attorney might be able to help them by providing legal guidance before and during the custody hearing. After custody has been awarded to the grandparents, the attorney may be able to assist them with gathering all of a child’s vital documents.
Source: Deseret News, “At granny’s house: More children raised by grandparents than before“, Lois M. Collins, August 05, 2014