AARP Backs Bill Supporting Grandparents and Relatives Raising Children

En español | We wrote to a group of senators on Monday announcing our support for a bill that would dedicate resources to raising more awareness around support systems and other resources available for grandparents, relatives or family friends who may unexpectedly find themselves raising children.

Nearly 3 million children in the U.S. are being raised by caregivers who are not their biological parents like grandparents and other relatives. The bipartisan legislation would raise awareness of the state and federal resources available to these caregivers, such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Medicaid. These caregivers, who are sometimes called kinship caregivers, may face sudden financial and logistical hurdles and qualify for additional support.

“While grandparents may find their new role rewarding, it can have an effect on their health and financial security,” Bill Sweeney, AARP’s senior vice president for government affairs, wrote in the letter, noting that new caregivers face “significant challenges that require navigating complex systems to access critical supports and services.”

AARP has a guide to help grandparents and unexpected caregivers understand where to get started, what financial resources might be available and how to handle childcare and education. We also worked with the nonprofit Generations United and other groups to launch state-by-state fact sheets to help caregivers find resources in their communities.

Read our letter supporting the bill and check out our Guide for GrandFamilies for more tips, tools and resources.

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