Sen. Gillibrand Introduces Law To Help Grandparents Raising Grandchildren

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Sen. Gillibrand introduces law easing the financial burden on grandparents, caregivers raising kids due to opioids

U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand has announced proposed legislation to help ease the financial burden of grandparents and other family caregivers who are raising children because of the opioid crisis.

The Grandfamilies Act is based on the success of legislation that was signed into law last year to help grandparents easily find the resources they need when raising grandchildren, Gillibrand’s office said in a press release. It includes help in navigating the school system, planning for their families’ future, addressing mental health issues for themselves and their grandchildren, and building social and support networks. The Grandfamilies Act is cosponsored by several of Gillibrand’s colleagues in the Senate.

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U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand

“As the opioid epidemic continues to tear apart families all over the country, Congress must do everything it can to help protect the children who have been hurt by this crisis,” said Gillibrand, an announced candidate for the 2020 Democratic nomination for president. “I am proud to cosponsor this bill to help support the hardworking grandparents and family caregivers who have taken on the responsibility of raising grandchildren because of the opioid epidemic. This legislation would help families across New York and around the country manage this crisis, and I urge my colleagues to quickly pass it into law.”

According to the statement from the senator’s office, the Grandfamilies Act would:

• increase access to Social Security child’s benefits and the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families cash assistance program

• incentivize states to create temporary guardianship laws for grandparents who need to step in quickly to help a grandchild

• provide support for housing specifically provided for grandparents raising grandchildren.

The Grandfamilies Act is supported by Generations United, American Academy of Pediatrics, Children’s Defense Fund, LeadingAge, National Council on Aging, National Resource Center on Domestic Violence, and Social Security Works, Gillibrand’s office said.

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