Pennsylvania Grandparents Raising Grandchildren
In 2017, there were nearly 90,000 Pennsylvania grandparents who were responsible for the basic needs of one of more grandchildren under the age of 18. These grandparents are caring for approximately 195,000 children, which is about 7.2 percent of all children in our state. Over 20 percent of these grandparents are living below the poverty level.
Kinship caregivers, particularly grandparents, face a variety of emotional, legal and daily living challenges as they unexpectedly find themselves in the position of raising a second family. Many factors contribute to the dramatic increase in the number of kinship care families including:
- Drug and alcohol abuse
- Teenage pregnancy
- Loss of a parent
- Military deployment
The NEPA Intergenerational Coalition is the local branch to assist grandparents and other relative caregivers facing the responsibility of raising their grandchildren or youngsters. The coalition meets monthly at the Pittston Memorial Library providing information on child support, custody, adoption, legal assistance, education, health care, support group participation, financial issues and referrals.
Howard J. Grossman is the Chairman of the NEPA Intergenerational Coalition.
Grandparents Raising Grandchildren is located within the Pittston Memorial Library.
What is Kinship Care?
Kinship care is defined as the full-time nurturing and protection of children who must be separated from their parent(s) and temporarily placed in the home of a caregiver.
For the most part, we are a compassionate warm-line families can call to get individual support, and we strive to locate the right resources in caller’s counties and help them apply or access those resources, whether they are state, local, or private organizations. We also have lots of free trainings, an online support group, and new educational content for families and professionals along with a guided search that they can visit to access over 10,000 resources throughout PA.
Why is this an Important Issue?
Various community agencies may have an interest in the home life of a child. As a result, these places should be aware of this growing trend so they can be prepared to meet the challenges that may arise for the child and/or caregiver.
The needs of each grandparent caring for a child will vary from one to the next and program innovations must take this into consideration for the success of the family.
Eligibility for Grandparents and Other Older Relatives Raising Children
- Caregiver must be 55 years of age or older.
- Child must be 18 years of age or younger.
- Caregiver and child must be related.
- Caregiver and child must reside in the same household.
- Caregiver must be the primary caregiver of the child.
Eligibility is based on the assessed needs, and total household income. Proof of income for all members of the household is required.
For more information please contact your local Area Agencies on Aging.