GRAND Magazine - May 2009 - (Page 30)

We’re taking in the g’kids… …but where’s the money coming from? By Suzanne Finley J 30 GRAND MAY anelle Williams*, 51, is raising Tommy, 8; Billy, 5; and Sarah, 3, in a two-bedroom mobile home. Williams, who is disabled, has been licensed by the state of Michigan to be the children’s foster mother. She is also their paternal grandmother. Although the next U.S. Census figures won’t be out for another year, there are startling reports indicating that the number of grandparents raising grandchildren is increasing at an alarming rate. According to a 2006 American Community Survey of the Census Bureau, there were 6.1 million grandparents with grandchildren younger than 18 years of age living with them. Even more alarming is that 40 percent of these grandparents—2.5 million—are solely financially responsible for providing the children’s basic needs: food, clothing and shelter. The statistics beg the question “Why is this happening?” The reason is a perfect storm of bad news: a collapsing economy with more than a half million Americans losing their jobs every month; housing foreclosures; long military deployments; depression and mental illnesses, the instances of which are exacerbated by war and economic depression; increasing numbers of people with substance abuse problems; and the secondary results of these issues: child abuse, neglect or abandonment, parental incarceration or death. “Currently, one of the biggest factors for these people taking in their grandchildren is substance abuse by the parents, but we are 2009

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

GRAND Magazine - May 2009
GRAND Central
Watching Lily Bloom
GrandZ in the 'Hood'
Numbers Game
We're Taking In the G'Kids
Family Crews
Soul Food
GRAND Finale

GRAND Magazine - May 2009