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Grandparents' rights to kinship care

In Arizona, when the court determines that the biological parents of a minor child are not fit to raise the child due to mental incapacity, child abuse, substance abuse, imprisonment or even death, a responsible third party is often awarded guardianship of the child. In most cases, the blood relatives of the child, including grandparents, are preferred to strangers as guardians.

This is referred to as kinship care because the kin of the child takes care of the minor child in the absence of the biological parents. Grandparents whose children have been determined incapable of raising their own biological child often consult a family law attorney to initiate a guardianship or kinship care system to raise the child.

However, raising a minor child at the grandparents' advanced age can have its own set of challenges. With that in mind, the Arizona state authorities have initiated various programs under kinship care that help the grandparent and the child to transition from relatives to primary caregivers. The grandparents who now have the guardianship rights over their grandchildren can qualify for one-time financial assistance of $300 per minor child, which covers the basic costs of extra beds and furniture required to accommodate the child, who will be living in the home of the grandparents.

Additionally, the government also provides a $75 per month allowance to the grandparents for each child to cover the child's needs, such as school supplies and clothes. Priorities on such allowances are given to low-income families even though the income of the household does not disqualify the grandparent for receiving any allowance under kinship care.

Source: AZDES.gov, "What is grandparent kinship care," Accessed on Aug. 7, 2015

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