Keeping it in the Family: Idaho Grandparents Raising Grandchildren

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Family crises which require out of home placement for children, are becoming increasingly common. Parent death, military deployment, incarceration, deportation, substance abuse, neglect, or physical abuse are situations that cause children to be taken out of their homes. When these circumstances occur, children may be placed in a formal foster care arrangement, or in the care of family members. Grandparents are the relatives most commonly caring for these children, with one in ten grandparents assuming care of their grandchildren for six months or longer at some time throughout their lives (Fuller-Thomson and Minkler, 2005). In Idaho, between 2000 and 2006, the number of custodial grandparents rose by 20.7%, compared with 1.2% nationally (American Community Survey, 2006).

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