In a recent post I talked about the various reasons for grandparents to be involved in their grandchildren lives.
My niece sent me some articles from The West Valley View Newspaper that serves Avondale, Buckeye, Goodyear, Litchfield Park and Tolleson, Arizona, that speaks just to that topic.
They describe how the West Valley cities proclaimed this Past September as Grandfamily, Kinship Care Month. There are 177,000 children being taken care of by their grandparents or other extended family members in Arizona alone. This information comes from the Arizona Grandparent Ambassadors, a support network for grandparents raising grandchildren. The saying that it takes a village to raise a child has added meaning for these families.
Each situation is unique, but often times the reason for grandparents getting involved is that the parent finds he is unable to care for his child because of substance abuse, mental illness, incarceration, or financial reasons. In my case, I found myself at 26 with two little kids, two years of college under my belt, no child support, and I’d never worked a day in my life outside my home while I was married. As a teenager I only worked at something when my parents refused to raise my allowance!
So, as I stated above, each situation is unique. I was no more prepared to take on the world than the man in the moon but, I did have a plan, and great parents who whole heartedly supported my plan and believed in my ability to pull it off. I was one of the lucky ones.
This newspaper article describes how 4%of the children in Arizona are being raised by their grandparents.That breaks down to 40% or 67,000.
I will be speaking again to this series that explores the issues of children being raised by extended family members in the state.
Thank goodness the Arizona Grandparent Ambassadors exist because taking on grandchildren is not always the easiest task in the world and feelings of isolation can exist.
It is my hope that groups like these are all over the country and that maybe there is some kind of a national organization that has an outreach program. If anyone knows of such a movement let me know so I can provide names and addresses. After all, we must value our children.
- Birth to five years, Co-raising, Grandparents, Home Schoolng, Journals, New Author, New Blogger
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