As the opiate crisis rages through Tennessee, grandparents continue to step up and help raise the children of opioid-addicted parents. However, grandparents who gain custody of their grandchildren typically do not receive any additional financial assistance for child care. Children living with grandparents who lack the financial means to care for them run the risk of being removed into state custody, disrupting their lives even further and taking away the only relatives they have left.
But financial relief could be on the horizon: WTHR.com reports that an East Tennessee senator wants to direct a portion of the surplus from the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families program to assist relatives caring for the child victims of the opioid epidemic. It is unknown how many grandparents are about to lose custody of their grandchildren due to financial hardship. Still, the belief is that even a little monetary support might help these kids stay in familiar homes.
The financial assistance would be available to grandparents legally awarded custody of their grandchildren aged 16 and younger. They would also have to meet a certain income standard and have made good faith efforts to use other financial compensation programs. Eligible grandparental households could qualify for half the full foster care assistance amount under the proposed legislation.
When parents suffering from addiction to opiates are no longer able to care for their children, placing them with their grandparents is often a natural solution. Any grandparents seeking custody of their grandchildren or at risk of losing custody to unfit parents or the state might learn more about their recourses from an experienced family attorney.