Among states, Louisiana heralds the fourth largest percentage of children living with grandparents in the country. Nearly ten percent of all children in Louisiana (117,859) live in grandparent-headed households of which nearly 65,000 of them live there without either parent present.
Two hundred grandparents raising grandchildren were interviewed and surveyed for this report. The charts in this press kit reveal a portrait of a resilient yet, overburdened generation of Louisiana elders who are raising 433 children giving them safe, permanent homes and keeping them out of the state’s foster care system. It is a safety net, however, with threads that are wearing thin.
The report identifies twenty action steps to advance the cause of grandparents raising grandchildren, some of which are: relax child support enforcement for kinship care subsidy eligibility, pass Defacto Custodian and Stand-by guardianship laws, create a Kinship Care Navigator Program making it easier for grandparents to access services and work with the schools (available through federal funding), raise the eligibility cap from 150% to 200% of poverty for the Kinship Care Subsidy Program and make subsidy grants equal to foster care payments, use national Family Caregiver Support Program funding to provide respite care and support groups to grandparents raising grandchildren through Councils on Aging, and create a legislatively empowered “Intra-governmental Council on Grandfamilies and Kinship Care” to act as a dynamic and ongoing nexus that consolidates the energies, skills and knowledge among a wide range of stakeholders to meet the demands and needs of Louisiana’s largest player in the child welfare arena: Grandfamilies.
“Louisiana State Fact Sheet for Grandparents and Other Relatives Raising Children” (2005) based on US Census Data 2000.
US Census Bureau, Table DP-2. Profile Selected Characteristics: 2000, cited in “Louisiana: A State Fact Sheet for Grandparents and Other Relatives Raising Children, January 2008.
Louisiana State Fact Sheet for Grandparents and Other Relatives Raising Grandchildren, Jan 2008, AARP et al.
Health Care Finance Administration, “Custodial grandparents often live in poverty,” No. 4, July 2004.
For more information Contact:
Dr. Linda M. Rhodes, Director
Hirtzel Institute on Health Education and Aging
16 West Division Street
North East, Pennsylvania 16428