As a grandparent, you want to know that the law is on your side if you ever need to take care of your grandchildren. You need support, and you need to protect the little ones you love. Across the United States, there are around 2.5 million grandparents taking care of their grandchildren as their own for varying reasons. Sometimes, their parents are unwell; other times they’re in the military. In certain cases a parent may be in jail or be addicted to drugs, prompting grandparents to step in and take of their children’s offspring.
In Massachusetts, there are over 28,000 children with primary caregivers who are their grandparents, the U.S. Census reports. One thing that is important to these people is, of course, the ability to gain custody of their grandchildren in often difficult situations.
Now, the Commission on the Status of Grandparents Raising Grandchildren has started working to help grandparents who are taking active roles as guardians for these children. The CSGRG has a goal to provide resources to grandparents who find themselves suddenly thrust into a situation where they need to raise a child. The CSGRG can help guide and inform these people about many things, from child custody, financial assistance, legal services, and child safety to mental health counseling or health insurance.
Other communities in Massachusetts are hoping to help by providing support groups to grandparents raising their grandchildren. This way, these people can connect with their peers and learn how to deal with their roles as not only grandparents, but actually as parents themselves.
Source: Malden Wicked Local, “Grandparents raising grandkids seek support in Massachusetts,” Nicholas Iovino, April. 28, 2015