SeniorLAW Center

Kinship Care

Legal Services for Grandparents and Other Elders Raising Minor Children: Addressing the needs of grandparents and other elders raising young relative children, many of whom have been abandoned, neglected or abused by birth parents.

 

Are you or is someone you know raising a grandchild, great-grandchild or other minor relative child? Thousands of seniors in Pennsylvania and around the U.S. are stepping in when birth parents cannot to raise relative kids through kinship care. Research shows that kids flourish in kinship care in the loving homes of family (kin) vs. foster care: they do better in school, have less behavioral problems and more frequently report “feeling loved.”

SeniorLAW Center was one of the first programs in the country to provide legal services to grandparents and other seniors raising children. We led a coalition of senior, family and child advocates to help confirm the constitutionality of grandparents’ rights in Pennsylvania. We are proud to serve intergenerational families or “grandfamilies,” benefitting two generations: both seniors and the children in their care.

Kinship Care is defined as the full-time care, nurturing and protection of children by relatives, members of their tribes or clans, godparents, stepparents, or any adult who has a kinship bond with a child.

Many factors contribute to the growing need for kinship care, including: substance abuse or addiction of birth parents, death or illness, abuse or neglect, incarceration, military service and abandonment. The opioid crisis has deepened the need for kinship care for children at risk. An increasing number of grandparents are providing for children’s basic needs.

We provide direct legal representation to eligible seniors who are or want to be kinship caretakers in both Dependency Court (when abuse or neglect and the child welfare system is involved) and Domestic Relations Court.

In addition to representation, we provide advice, information and referrals to resources and supports that can be of assistance to those providing care.

 

Kinship Care Resources

MEET THOMAS – Kinship Care client story

Grand Central

SOWN

 

Copyright © 2000-2009 SeniorLAW Center, All Rights Reserved.