Jamie Graham & Associates, PLLC

Grandparents often a child custody option during opioid crisis

Because of the opioid crisis in America, grandparents are being called to the forefront to take care of children when parents fall prey to addiction or succumb to overdoses. Studies show that the number of grandparents raising children is fast approaching 100,000 across the country. In Texas and other states, child custody is often given to grandparents or other family members when parents cannot care for their kids.

The Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Act is a bill that is being promoted to help families tap into federal resources. Eight federal agencies have been assigned to find available help for the increasing number of grandparents taking over the parenting role. Reports show that the resources available often take months to receive or have a long waiting list for services.

Many caregivers are paying out of pocket for support because they are unaware of resources available to them. A family's commitment to these children can last for years while parents treat their addictions. Experts agree that in Texas and elsewhere, grandparents need to be informed of respite care programs for help with the cost involved with raising a grandchild.

The opioid epidemic has created a public health challenge for grandparents and grandchildren combined. The financial hardship for grandparents can be unbearable, especially for those who have retired and are on a limited income. Families who are faced with child custody issues because of substance abuse may benefit from contacting an attorney. A lawyer can answer questions to help pursue the best outcome for everyone involved.

Source: post-gazette.com, "Opioid crisis creating 'grandfamilies,' a need for more resources", Rich Lord, April 9, 2018

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