Grandparents Rights Group


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Grandparents Rights Group

  1. 1. Grandparents Raising grandchildren in Utah Issues, Laws, and Resources
  2. 2. National Perspective 2000 census <ul><li>1.4 million children (almost one child in twenty) live in a household headed by their grandparent/s with no parent present. </li></ul><ul><li>5 percent of American families are grandparent/grandchild families </li></ul><ul><li>10 percent of all grandparents are raising grandchildren </li></ul><ul><li>4 million children live in a household headed by a grandparent </li></ul><ul><li>Among children in grandparent-headed families, 47 percent lived with both grandparents, 47 percent resided with only their grandmother and 6 percent lived with only their grandfather.  </li></ul><ul><li>19 percent of grandparent caregivers had incomes below the poverty level </li></ul><ul><li>The proportion of grandparent caregivers living in poverty was highest in the South (21 percent),and in some states was as high as 30% </li></ul><ul><li>The 2000 U.S. Census reported 4.5 million children living in grandparent-headed homes (a 30% increase from 1990). </li></ul><ul><li>Grandparents more likely to be between 30-59 (younger) </li></ul><ul><li>All minority groups exhibit increased informal and formal kinship care behaviors </li></ul><ul><li>African-American and Pacific Islander grandparents were more likely to be primary caregiver to their grandchildren </li></ul>
  3. 4. Reasons for Growth in Grandparent Care-giving <ul><li>Utah DCFS 2007 </li></ul><ul><li>longer life spans /better health and activity of grandparents </li></ul><ul><li>increasing divorce/single parenting </li></ul><ul><li>substance abuse </li></ul><ul><li>health problems </li></ul><ul><li>Poverty </li></ul><ul><li>incarceration of parents </li></ul><ul><li>Mental illness/disability of the parent or child </li></ul><ul><li>Drug abuse was a contributing factor for the neglect, abuse or dependency that led to removal in approx. 53% of cases (2004) </li></ul><ul><li>Grandfamilies program--Children’s Service Society of Utah </li></ul><ul><li>the primary reason is----- the increase of methamphetamine use among parents </li></ul><ul><li>Director of Department of Human Services </li></ul><ul><li>reported to the Utah Legislature that 60 to 80 percent of child welfare placements are due to methamphetamine abuse </li></ul><ul><li>Also cited ineffectiveness in disciplining a child as reason for placement </li></ul><ul><li>My Ideas? </li></ul><ul><li>poor parenting skills </li></ul><ul><li>Prior abuse/neglect victim </li></ul><ul><li>Economic hardship </li></ul><ul><li>Age of parents </li></ul><ul><li>“ ends up happening” </li></ul><ul><li>Sense of obligation </li></ul><ul><li>DCFS’ poor public image </li></ul><ul><li>culture </li></ul>
  4. 5. Legal issues <ul><li>Custody </li></ul><ul><li>Parental preference YES, but also protection of grandparent/grandchild relationship </li></ul><ul><li>Best interest of the child </li></ul><ul><li>past conduct/moral standards of parties </li></ul><ul><li>Child’s wishes </li></ul><ul><li>Which party is more likely to act in the child’s best interests, including contact with the other party </li></ul><ul><li>Any other factor </li></ul><ul><li>Visitation </li></ul><ul><li>Utah precedent indicates that grandparents may be successful in suing for visitation rights if they show evidence of a substantial relationship with the child prior to dispute; demonstrate why relationship </li></ul><ul><li>Medical Consent (Utah Code Ann. § 78-14-5): This law allows a qualified adult acting in loco parentis, formally or informally, to consent to any medical care not prohibited by law, on behalf of the minor child. </li></ul><ul><li>Educational Enrollment (Utah Code Ann. § 53A-2-201(3)(A)): This law defines a child’s school district of residence to be where custodial parent or legal guardian resides, or the school district where the child resides, if the child resides with a &quot;responsible adult&quot;. A responsible adult must be a resident of the district and “the noncustodial parent, grandparent, brother, sister, uncle, or aunt” of the child. The district, however, may require the person with whom the child lives to be formally designated as the child's custodian through a power of attorney. </li></ul>
  5. 6. DCFS <ul><li>Preference for kinship placements: State policy requires that kin be considered first when an out-of-home placement is sought for a child under the Department’s care. </li></ul><ul><li>Emergency kinship placement terms </li></ul><ul><li>not allowing custodial parents or guardians to have any unauthorized contact with the child </li></ul><ul><li>agreeing that DCFS will continue to search for other potential kinship placements if needed </li></ul><ul><li>willingness to assist the parent/s in reunification efforts and to follow all court orders (R512-500-2) </li></ul><ul><li>a relative will be considered for an emergency placement only if they provide information such as full names, identifications and social security numbers of those living in the household (R512-500-2) for a criminal background checks </li></ul><ul><li>Accountability to DCFS/inspections, home inspections </li></ul><ul><li>Parental Drug Use As Child Abuse--Utah </li></ul><ul><li>Statute Text: </li></ul><ul><li>any person who knowingly or intentionally causes or permits a child to be exposed to, to ingest or inhale, or to have contact with a controlled substance, chemical substance, or drug paraphernalia Citation: Utah Code Ann. § 62A-4a-404 (1997) Statute Text: a licensed medical practitioner attends the birth of a child or cares for a child, and determines that the child, at the time of birth, has fetal alcohol syndrome or fetal drug dependency, he shall report that determination to the Division of Child and Family Services as soon as possible. </li></ul>
  6. 7. Utah Kinship Eligibility Relationship Cash benefits In kind Decision -making conditions Physical custody <ul><li>Family Employment Program (FEP) </li></ul><ul><li>Specified relative Grant—Department of Workforce Services </li></ul><ul><li>SSI </li></ul><ul><li>Food Stamps </li></ul><ul><li>CHIP </li></ul><ul><li>Medicaid </li></ul>No legal authority, can enroll children in school and get medical care; need power of attorney Temporary Must prove child lives with you and parent does not; Specified relative grant requires proof of blood relation Guardianship Subsidized Guardianship Program (for those who don’t qualify for SRG) Medicaid Food Stamps CHIP TANF Transfers decision-making power, not custody Can be permanent or temporary, parents can appeal at any time for custody Foster care Foster Care Subsidy Medicaid Counseling services Case management State supervises, biological parents still have non-essential decision-making Kin must have foster care licensure; including 32 hours training & background check Adoption One-time adoption subsidy None Medicaid TANF rights and obligations of the child's parents are terminated conditions May/may not have income/asset /disability restrictions Low-income, compliance with program requirements (TANF)
  7. 8. Resources <ul><li>Grandparents acting as Parents (Purdue) </li></ul><ul><li>G enerations United t and GrandsPlace at and Grandparent Again at , two websites coordinated by grandparents raising grandchildren </li></ul><ul><li>  Office of Recovery Services-- ORS can assist you in obtaining child support and establishing paternity of the children in care </li></ul><ul><li>Utah Courts-  -To obtain the packet to file for guardianship or custody. See the Helpful Information section of our website for more information on legal rights.  </li></ul><ul><li>School Districts in Utah-- Click here .For the school districts and phone numbers to register kinship children into school. See the Helpful Information section of this website for tips on successfully registering children into school.  </li></ul><ul><li>Department of Workforce Services (DWS)-- To find a DWS location near you in order to apply for the Specified Relative Grant. For step-by-step instructions on how to apply for the grant, please click  here . </li></ul><ul><li>Crime Victims Reparations-- Application to receive medical and mental health assistance if you or the child you are caring for is the victim of a crime. See the Helpful Information section of our website for more information on this program.  </li></ul><ul><li>  AARP Grandparent Information Center-- This site provides information about services and programs that can help improve the lives of those involved in raising grandchildren.  </li></ul><ul><li>Administration on Aging-- Offers an overview of the trend of kinship care and provides resources to help.  </li></ul><ul><li>Child Welfare League of America-- CWLA is an association of more than 1,000 public and private nonprofit agencies. Its website offers information about the care of children by relatives.  </li></ul><ul><li>Children of Alcoholics Fund-- This site provides information for grandparents raising children because of an alcoholic and/or substance abusing parents.  </li></ul><ul><li>Children’s Defense Fund- This site provides information about the facts of Kinship Care and initiatives across the nation.  </li></ul>