Collins, Casey Urge HHS to Swiftly Implement New Law to Support Grandparents Raising Grandchildren
New Law Will Help Grandparents Raising Their Grandchildren Due to Opioid Crisis Find Resources
Washington, DC — U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Bob Casey (D-PA), the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Special Committee on Aging, along with U.S. Representatives Jim McGovern (D-MA-02) and Peter King (R-NY-02) sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services urging swift implementation of the Supporting Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Act. Senators Collins and Casey and Representatives McGovern and King introduced and passed the bill in their respective chambers. The new law authorizes the creation of a one-stop-shop of information and resources to support grandparents raising grandchildren.
As the opioid crisis continues to ravage communities around the country, the number of grandparents caring for their grandchildren is on the rise. Currently, more than 2.6 million children are being raised by their grandparents or other relatives. The new law will help to ensure that grandparents have access to information designed to help them address the challenges they face as they take on this responsibility.
“The number of grandparents stepping in to care for grandchildren is on the rise,” the members of Congress wrote. “As the opioid crisis continues to rage and cause more grandparents to take on this role, we urge the Department of Health and Human Services to prioritize the swift, comprehensive and thoughtful implementation of the law to ensure that grandparents receive the supports they need to raise the children in their care.”
Signed into law by President Trump in early July, the Supporting Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Act directs the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to assemble an advisory council that will identify and disseminate information to help grandparents raising grandchildren address the challenges they may face, such as navigating the school system, planning for their families’ future, addressing mental health issues for themselves and their grandchildren and building social and support networks. To further support immediate implementation, the Senate recently passed a Fiscal Year 2019 appropriations bill that provides $300,000 in funding to establish the advisory council. Before the funding is made available, the appropriations bill must be signed into law.