Raising children is a very labor-intensive task. When raising a child we know that often the costs are astronomical, and we sometimes have to forgo our needs to support theirs. The emotional toll and hard work that also has to be put in is another cost that you cannot even account for. But what happens when you take in your grandchild in unforeseen circumstances, especially those that have caused trauma.
The various costs, clothes, food, school needs in the rearing of children all mount up. But when you are taking custody of your grandchildren at an old age, your finances might not be what they used to be years ago. With a fixed income and extra costs United Generation, a Washington based organization have found that a minimum of 2.6 million grandparents who take custody of their grandchildren live below the breadline, barely making ends meet. With over forty percent of these grandparents being aged sixty or above and a quarter with some sort of age-related disability, extra money is hard to come by. Many grandparents who have taken custody of their children have chosen to delay their retirement or even leave retirement to go back to work. When this is not an option they chose to prematurely dip into their retirement savings.
In cases where the child is taken from the care services and custody is awarded to the grandparent, there is some help available. Grandparents will receive a small stipend for caring for the children along with the emotional support of a caseworker. However, it is believed by United Generation that for every child that is awarded to the grandparents via care, there are up to 18-20 that have never been in the care system. These grandchildren must then be awarded to the grandparents via court proceedings, which is another astronomical cost that has to be accounted for.
More often than not children who are taken from their parents, have experienced some sort of trauma because if they came from a happy home they would never need to remove from it. Ms.Butts from Generations United said “what they really need to understand is the impact of trauma on the children and try to help support them as they deal with that. Also, they need to have access to trauma-informed services, the services that can really help them overcome what they’ve experienced.”
The role of a grandparent to these children is not only to provide financially but also emotionally. By making a child feel valued, loved and by being a role model grandparents can really help stabilize and ground the lives of these children.
While having a child in the house after decades can be a shock it is only natural to want to protect the ones you love. During the testing times of taking over child custody from your children let a Salt Lake City Child Custody Lawyer be your support and guide through the process. To get help from an experienced Salt Lake City Child Custody Lawyer please contact our offices at 801-804-5152.