How many of us know families with four and five generations alive today? According to the Stepping Up for Kids report from the Ann E. Casey Foundation, one in eleven children are now raised by grandparents. These families are called grand families or kinship care. As a former Guardian Ad Litem, I have witnessed Family Court judges encouraging grandparents and other relatives to assume legal responsibility for dependent children as a form of foster care under the court’s supervision.
Grandparents who accept this responsibility are amazing. They continue to create the family quilt at the expense of their own financial needs. The Washington Post estimates the lifetime cost of raising a child at $310,065 in 2022. Grandparents take on the hectic activity schedules of children, health care, education, housing, legal and other costs if the child has special needs. Most of us cannot shoulder these costs on a fixed retirement income, or after the age of 50 when our financial focus should be preparing for retirement. Ann E. Casey Foundation, The Children’s Defense Fund, and The Child Welfare League work at the State and National level creating Kinship programs addressing these needs.
Monica Stynchula – CEO / REUNIONCare, Inc.