GRAND Magazine - March/April 2018 - 32

grand families

Jamie Foxx's grandparents raised him right!
BY JAIA PETERSON LENT

E

stelle Talley knew her grandson Jamie was bound for
greatness. He learned to read early. He showed musical
abilities so she enrolled him in piano lessons. Jamie was
an athlete so they attended his athletic events. Jamie always
knew his grandparents were there to cheer him on. He had
little contact with his birth parents, and that gap pained him.
Jamie grew to be acclaimed actor, musician, and comedian,
Jamie Foxx. "Any... emotional gaps, spiritual gaps, my [grandparents] filled them in so I didn't skip a beat. I was never short on the
love of a mother or a father, though it came from an earlier generation," Foxx explains. He credits his grandparents for his success.

"

"

I was never short on the love of a
mother or a father, though it came
from an earlier generation.

Grandparents and other relatives are raising more than 2.5
million American children. Compared with children in foster care
with non-relatives, children raised by relatives who get the support they need, have more safety and stability, better behavior
and mental health outcomes, and are more likely to report they
always feel loved. Yet children and caregivers in grandfamilies
rarely get access to critical support and services. Because of the
way the federal government funds child welfare in the U.S., children must first enter the foster care system to get important support and services. Grandfamilies who step in and keep children
out of the foster care system were shut out of the help they need.
In February, legislation passed which will help grandfamilies.
Known as the Family First Prevention Services Act, it will help in
three major ways:

32 GRAND

MARCH APRIL 2018

- Kinship Navigator Programs- provides federal funds to help
states offer navigation services to help grandfamilies get information, supports and services.
- Prevention Services: funds up to 12 months of services to
children, birth parents, and relative caregivers of children at risk
of entering the foster care system. Services include mental health,
substance use treatment and prevention services, and in-home
skill-based services.
- Licensing Relatives as Foster Parents: helps address barriers to
licensing relatives as foster parents to help more children and caregivers in grandfamilies get the full range of supports and services
that traditional unrelated foster parents and children receive.

While more help is needed, this is a big victory. I'm sure Estelle
Talley and her grandly successful grandson, Jamie, would agree.
Learn more about this legislation from Generations United
here.

Jaia Peterson Lent is Deputy Executive Director
of Generations United, a national organization
dedicated to improving lives. Home to the
National Center on Grandfamilies, Generations
United is a leading voice for issues affecting
families headed by grandparents or other
relatives.


https://www.facebook.com/GRANDmagazine/ https://www.twitter.com/grandMmagazine http://www.etonline.com/media/videos/exclusive-jamie-foxx-gets-emotional-while-reliving-his-adoption-watch-86658 https://dl2.pushbulletusercontent.com/r9VHvasFqREnmte5188LTXwfNjTMXf0m/FFPSA%20brief%20summary.pdf https://dl2.pushbulletusercontent.com/r9VHvasFqREnmte5188LTXwfNjTMXf0m/FFPSA%20brief%20summary.pdf http://www.gu.org/ http://www.gu.org/Portals/0/documents/14-National_Center_on_Grandfamilies_Overview.pdf

GRAND Magazine - March/April 2018

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