GRAND Magazine - May 2009 - 31

now seeing an increase due to the economic crisis as a catalyst as well. Parents are losing their jobs and their homes, and either the parents and grandchildren move in or, more often, just the grandchildren are coming to live with grandma and grandpa,” says Mary Potts, Kinship Coordinator for Macomb County, Michigan, who helps to coordinate the county’s office of Grandparents Raising Grandchildren. Potts has been with GRG since 2001 and has seen a marked increase in grandparents participating in their program. And with the economy showing little sign of recovery anytime soon, Potts predicts this trend will continue for an indefinite period of time. The troubles for the grandchildren of Janelle Williams began five years ago when their parents divorced. At that time, they were placed in a foster home. Williams filed for, and was granted, temporary custody in January 2005: All three children were in diapers and still drinking from bottles. Tommy, who was 4 at the time, did not know how to use utensils because he had been fed on the floor “like a dog,” Williams says. A month later, the former foster mother petitioned to regain the children, and her petition was granted. Williams was so distraught over the way the social services agency handled the matter she sought out a sympathetic caseworker, who instructed Williams to, in turn, befriend the foster mother, keep notes and report her observations. “I would get calls” [from the foster mother] “at 3 a.m., telling me that one of the children had left the house or that the baby was sick with a fever.” Williams would get into her car and look for the missing child, bring Tylenol for the sick baby, or do whatever else was necessary to assist. It wasn’t until 18 months later, when Williams reported scratches, bites and cigarette burns on her grandson’s back, that the State of Michigan granted her custody. What kind of help is there for grandparents who have taken on this labor of love in order to provide for their grandchildren when the parents can’t—or won’t? As part of a GRAND series exploring the options available to caregiving grandparents, we will first take a look at foster care where the grandparents are the licensed foster parents. Kinship foster care, according to a recent article in Social Work Research , usually results in creating a more stable environment—and more stable children—than in non-relative foster care. A 2007 conference at the University of Maryland  also showed that the benefits of grandparents raising their grandchildren far exceeded the risks and included such benefits as child safety, child Recent case law Getting children better care and assisting grandparents in this lifelong commitment has taken an interesting turn in the state of Michigan. Recent case law requires that potential foster parents go through rigorous screening and training. In particular, anyone applying for foster parent status has six months from the date of application within which to become licensed. the case Dwayne B. v. State of Michigan, handed down by the United states District court, eastern District of Michigan, on July 3, 2008, created new law related to foster parenting and is becoming a template for other states in protecting the rights of foster children. In that case, suit was filed against the state of Michigan by children’s Rights, a new York-based nonprofit that is a watchdog organization for children’s rights  . children’s Rights alleged egregious acts by the state against children within its foster care system. Mary Potts believes it is the beginning of federal foster care reform in the United states, and, while this is a good thing, it makes it more difficult to gain foster parent status. —S. F. Click and connect to more resources instantly where you see this symbol:  MAY 2009 GRAND 31
http://www.accessmylibrary.com/coms2/summary_0286-34750097_ITM http://www.family.umaryland.edu/ryc_research_and_evaluation/publication_product_files/selected_presentations/presentation_files/pdfs/Family Foundation Conference 2 19 2007.pdf http://www.childrensrights.org/news-events/press/federal-court-approves-landmark-settlement-mandating-reform-of-michigan-child-welfare-system/

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of GRAND Magazine - May 2009

GRAND Magazine - May 2009
GRAND View
Contents
GRAND Central
Watching Lily Bloom
GrandZ in the 'Hood'
Numbers Game
We're Taking In the G'Kids
Face-to-Facebook
SHMILY
Family Crews
Soul Food
Resources
GRAND Finale
GRAND Magazine - May 2009 - Intro
GRAND Magazine - May 2009 - GRAND Magazine - May 2009
GRAND Magazine - May 2009 - Cover2
GRAND Magazine - May 2009 - 3
GRAND Magazine - May 2009 - GRAND View
GRAND Magazine - May 2009 - 5
GRAND Magazine - May 2009 - Contents
GRAND Magazine - May 2009 - 7
GRAND Magazine - May 2009 - 8
GRAND Magazine - May 2009 - 9
GRAND Magazine - May 2009 - 10
GRAND Magazine - May 2009 - 11
GRAND Magazine - May 2009 - 12
GRAND Magazine - May 2009 - GRAND Central
GRAND Magazine - May 2009 - 14
GRAND Magazine - May 2009 - 15
GRAND Magazine - May 2009 - 16
GRAND Magazine - May 2009 - 17
GRAND Magazine - May 2009 - 18
GRAND Magazine - May 2009 - 19
GRAND Magazine - May 2009 - Watching Lily Bloom
GRAND Magazine - May 2009 - 21
GRAND Magazine - May 2009 - 22
GRAND Magazine - May 2009 - GrandZ in the 'Hood'
GRAND Magazine - May 2009 - 24
GRAND Magazine - May 2009 - 25
GRAND Magazine - May 2009 - Numbers Game
GRAND Magazine - May 2009 - 27
GRAND Magazine - May 2009 - 28
GRAND Magazine - May 2009 - 29
GRAND Magazine - May 2009 - We're Taking In the G'Kids
GRAND Magazine - May 2009 - 31
GRAND Magazine - May 2009 - 32
GRAND Magazine - May 2009 - 33
GRAND Magazine - May 2009 - Face-to-Facebook
GRAND Magazine - May 2009 - 35
GRAND Magazine - May 2009 - SHMILY
GRAND Magazine - May 2009 - 37
GRAND Magazine - May 2009 - Family Crews
GRAND Magazine - May 2009 - 39
GRAND Magazine - May 2009 - Soul Food
GRAND Magazine - May 2009 - 41
GRAND Magazine - May 2009 - 42
GRAND Magazine - May 2009 - Resources
GRAND Magazine - May 2009 - 44
GRAND Magazine - May 2009 - 45
GRAND Magazine - May 2009 - GRAND Finale
GRAND Magazine - May 2009 - 47
GRAND Magazine - May 2009 - Cover3
GRAND Magazine - May 2009 - Cover4
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