WASHINGTON, Oct. 9, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- More than 544,000 children live in grandfamilies where the child, a parent,
With increased immigration enforcement and children being separated from their parents, grandparents and other relatives often step up to raise the children left behind.
"The critical role grandfamilies play in providing love and care for children who have been separated from their parents is often overlooked in the immigration debates," said Donna Butts, executive director at Generations United. "Research shows that relatives are uniquely suited to buffer the effects of the children's stress and reduce the trauma of separation. Yet they usually take on this role with little to no warning and need support."
Most grandparents and other relatives face a host of challenges caring for children who cannot remain with their parents. Grandfamilies with immigrant members, according to the report, face compounded challenges including restricted access to support and services to help the children, language barriers, and fear of government agencies.
"For the first time, a national report focuses on the intersection of grandfamilies and immigration," said Ana Beltran, special advisor to Generations United. "Generations United shares its lessons learned from twenty years of working on behalf of grandfamilies so that children in immigrant grandfamilies most of whom are U.S. citizens facing compounded challenges - can also be supported and thrive."
The report's recommendations include:
The report also found that the number of children being raised in grandfamilies continues to rise. There are now 2,677,000 children being raised by grandparents, other relatives or close family friends without the children's parents in the home. The percentage of children in foster care who are with relatives has increased by 9 percentage points from 24% in 2008 to 33% in 2017.
The report will be available at www.gu.org. For an advanced copy, contact Alan King at email@example.com.
Experts available for comment include:
About Generations United: www.gu.org.
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SOURCE Generations United
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