‘State of Grandfamilies 2021’ Report Released by Generations United

According to a new report by Generations United, 2.6 million children live in “grandfamilies,” meaning children are raised by relatives or close family friends without their parents in the home.

The report, titled “Reinforcing a Strong Foundation: Equitable Support for Basic Needs of Grandfamilies,” seeks to elevate the unique needs of grandfamilies and calls on federal, state, and local governments to build stronger systems of support to help grandfamilies thrive.

Some recommendations include:

  • Support the development and sustained use of quality kinship navigator programs.
    These programs offer information, referral, and follow-up services to grandparents and other relatives raising children to link them to the benefits and services that they or the children need.
  • Promote financial equity for grandfamilies by creating a kinship caregiver tax credit,
    improving access to foster-care maintenance payments and TANF.
  • Implement the recommendations of the initial Report to Congress from the Federal
    Advisory Council to Support Grandfamilies Raising Grandchildren. Important
    recommendations include changing workplace policies to recognize the caregiving
    needs of grandfamily caregivers and improving grandfamilies’ access to respite care,
    child care, and counseling.
  • Support grandfamilies as part of opioid settlement funds

These issues and other points raised in the report, specifically the locally-focused opportunities highlighted on page 72, could be taken under consideration by age- and dementia friendly community coalitions and stakeholder organizations.