GRANDPARENTS AS PRIMARY CARE PROVIDERS
Many grandparents did not expect to become the primary care provider for their grandchild/ren; however, a wide variety of family issues have impacted their families and they now have to assume this responsibility. Grandparents from all income levels, race, ethnic and religious backgrounds across the country are now parenting "full time" for the second time in their lives.
This new responsibility brings with it many old parenting issues and some new issues and challenges they have never faced. Some of these issues and challenges include:
Questions: What are my legal rights? How do I obtain the rights I need to make decisions for my grandchild/ren? Should I obtain informal or formal rights to care for the child/ren?
Questions: How to enroll the child/ren in school? What papers do I need to enroll the child/ren in school? What is the best role for me to assume and what rights do I have at the school?
Questions: Am I financially able to care for myself and my grandchild/ren? What kind of supplemental services (TANF, food stamps, SSI, WIC, housing assistance, adoption assistance, etc.) will I be eligible for? How do I access the services I will need?
Questions: What will be my daycare and after-school needs? Where do I go to obtain these services? Will I be eligible for childcare assistance?
Questions: Where do I obtain medical care services for my grandchild/ren? Is the child eligible for free or discounted services? Will my medical care/insurance be negatively impacted if I expand my insurance coverage to cover the child/ren?
Questions: How do I maintain a positive attitude as my life changes? How do I help the child/ren develop a positive attitude about the change in his/her life? Are there service providers to help us in the community?
These are just a few of the questions you may have as you begin your new journey into parenting. You are not alone. There are people and organizations in the community that can assist you. You have to be willing to seek assistance and guidance. You may have to be determined and flexible.
Some of the sources for information and guidance that may help to answer your questions include