November 20, 2019

Grandparents Caring for Young Children Need Support

Across the United States of America, grandparents are struggling to make ends meet after claiming custody over their grandchildren. While, in many cases, these grandparents are claiming custody to keep their grandchildren safe, healthy, and supported, many are doing so with little to no support. In her article, Grandparents Caring for Their Grandchildren Happens for a Variety of Reasons, Susan Pena explores this complex issue.


In her article, Susan Pena expresses that the opioid crisis is far-reaching, with many having friends, family members, or loved ones who have been affected. With this, some of the most at-risk individuals impacted by this crisis are the children of adults struggling with addiction and the challenges that come with it. Pena states that “often grandparents are on the front lines of this crisis, raising their grandchildren–or even, in some cases, great-grandchildren, while struggling with their own financial and health issues.” Many are doing it with little to no outside support.

Grandparents and older family members can claim primary custody over relative children for many reasons, some of which include:

    • the incarceration or death of a loved one,
    • loved ones impacted by substance use or addiction, and
    • unsafe living conditions for a young child.

In her powerful piece, Pena highlights three real-life stories of grandparent caregivers. Read the full article to learn more.

What You Can Do

KinConnector Helpline

If you’re a grandparent caregiver seeking support, call the KinConnector Helpline at 866.546.2111 for more information on resources, including help with financial, health, and legal issues; training and parental advice; and nearby support groups. The Helpline is open Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Trying Together Grandparent Council

If you’re a grandparent who is interested in working to ensure all young children receive high-quality care and education, consider joining Trying Together’s Grandparent Council. The Council meets monthly to:

    • learn more about the importance of early childhood education,
    • receive guidance and support in identifying high-quality early learning environments,
    • and learn how to advocate for the well-being of all children in our communities.

Visit our Grandparent Council page to learn more.

More Information

To read the full article, visit the Reading Eagle website.