It is not secret that across the country, more and more children are living with and being raised by their grandparents. Across the country, according to numbers reported by one agency of another state, there are now over 5.5 million children who are under the age of 18 and living with their grandparents full time. This number marks a huge increase over the past generation, and there is no sign of this trend slowing down or reversing.
There are a number of reasons why children wind up living with their grandparents. For one, the opioid epidemic has hit Arizona just as it has other parts of the country. And, as a result, many grandparents have to step in to help their grandchildren while the parents struggle with an addiction.
In other cases, a parent may have demonstrated an unwillingness or inability to take care of a child safely. In still other situations, the parent may be facing difficult economic circumstances or may just be especially young and not quite ready to assume full parenting responsibilities.
Grandparents who are raising their grandchildren face many challenges. While some of them are frankly hard to prevent, many of these challenges are related to legal issues. For example, grandparents may struggle to enroll their grandchildren in a school or daycare, and they also may need authority to help their grandchildren with physical and emotional needs via professional care and treatment. As such, in many of these situations, grandparents in the Phoenix area will need help to effectively assert their grandparents' rights.