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More grandchildren living with grandparents

Texas residents might be interested to learn that federal statistics show that the number of children living with their grandparents, instead of their biological parents, has significantly increased over the past decade. U.S. Census statistics show that grandparents were raising 4.9 million children in 2010, up from 2.4 million in the 2000s.

There are numerous resources available to help grandparents who are raising a grandchild. The federal government has a list of aids that include tips on health, safety and financial support. Moreover, many state-based agencies across the country also are trying to help. In addition, a leading organization for senior citizens put together a guide that covers such things as childcare, support, legal and other issues.

There are numerous reasons why children are raised by their grandparents instead of their parents. State departments of children and family services often try to place a child in one of those situations with a relative that the child knows. A grandparent is able to provide a grandchild with the family values with which they raised the parent. This can be a source of reassurance for both the child and his or her parent.

In addition, there are times when a child can no longer safely live with his or her parents. That includes times when a parent has a substance abuse problem or a mental disorder, which leaves them unable to look after a child competently. Sometimes, the parent simply is not available, which is the situation when a parent is incarcerated.

Regardless of the circumstances, if a grandparent believes that it is in the best interests of the child, he or she could seek custody. A lawyer could draw up a child custody agreement so that grandchild's rights and interests would be protected under a variety of circumstances.

Source: Deseret News, "At granny's house: More children raised by grandparents than before", Lois M. Collins, August 05, 2014

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