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Census finds grandparents raised more children in 2010 than 2000

According to figures from the United State Census, grandparents were raising 2.4 million children in 2000. Grandparents in North Carolina who are raising their children's children might be interested to hear that their situation has grown substantially more common, more than doubling to 4.9 million by 2010.

The assistant director for Community Child Care Solutions says that, in some circumstances, children cannot live with parents or guardians and be safe too due to a number of circumstances. Grandparents may be given custody because they provide values that are similar to the children's parents, she added. The Child Welfare Information Gateway says that grandparents often take on the obligation of raising children when the parents leave them or cannot care for them properly because of a mental disorder, imprisonment or substance abuse.

The federal government and state and local agencies as well as many businesses try to provide help to grandparents who take custody of their grandchildren. In the AARP's GrandFamilies Guide, for example, grandparents can get information on a range of topics, from finance, childcare and education to legal issues. The guide also includes a list of credentials that grandparents might need to apply for free or reduced school lunches, financial help and more.

Grandparents could apply for financial support from the federal government, which also offers safety and health resources and tips. In Oklahoma, law enforcement agencies and local services try to get the community involved by filling book bags with supplies to get children ready for school.

In North Carolina, a court may decide to give legal custody to the grandparents of children who are no longer safe in the custody of their biological parents. If the grandparents on both sides are seeking custody, the court might choose the grandparents who have the closest relationship with the children.

Source: Deseret News, "At granny's house: More children raised by grandparents than before", Lois M. Collins, August 05, 2014

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