Senators Collins, Casey’s Legislation to Support Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Gaining Momentum

AARP, the nation’s largest senior advocacy group, and the American Academy of Pediatrics endorse Senators Collins and Casey’s bill

Washington, D.C.—U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Bob Casey (D-PA), the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Aging Committee, announced today that their bipartisan Supporting Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Act has been endorsed by AARP, the nation’s largest senior advocacy group, and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).

Approximately 2.6 million children are currently being raised in grandfamilies, and experts say this number is rising as the opioid epidemic continues to devastate families and communities across the country. The Supporting Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Act would create a federal task force charged with developing and disseminating information to help grandparents raising grandchildren navigate the school system, plan for their families’ future, address mental health issues for themselves and their grandchildren, and build social and support networks.

“With so many parents struggling with addiction, grandparents are increasingly coming to the rescue and assuming the role of primary caregivers for their grandchildren,” said Senator Collins. “I am pleased that AARP and the AAP have endorsed our legislation, which would help ensure that grandparents who have taken on this caretaker role have access to the resources they need.”

“Raising grandchildren due to the opioid crisis poses a unique challenge for grandparents,” Senator Casey said. “The Supporting Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Act will help provide information and resources to help grandparents thrive while raising their grandchildren. Thank you to AARP and the AAP for endorsing this legislation.”

Senators Collins and Casey introduced their legislation following a March Aging Committee hearing they led on the growing phenomenon of grandparents raising grandchildren because the parents are struggling with addiction and can no longer care for their children. During the hearing, experts and grandparents testified on the need for grandparents to have easy access to information about resources available to assist them.

To read AARP’s endorsement letter, click HERE.

To read AAP’s endorsement letter, click HERE.