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September is Grandfamilies/Kinship Care Month

Sixteen cities across Arizona have proclaimed September as Kinship Care Month, a time to recognize grandparents and other family members raising children who cannot be cared for by their own parents. Thank you to the following mayors for their support at September 1st news conferences in Pima and Maricopa Counties: Jackie Meck of Buckeye, Jonathan Rothschild of Tucson (pictured below), and Tom Schoaf of Litchfield Park.

2015-09-01 rothschild tucson gparents photo

Kinship care is not new, but it is growing. According to the U. S. Census Bureau, nearly 177,000 (5%) of Arizona’s children are being raised by family other than their parents, 67,000 of them by grandparents. Staying with family rather than in foster care is a good alternative for children because they need the stability of being in a familiar setting at a time when their lives are being disrupted.

Many grandparents with young children in their care may struggle to help raise them, both financially and physically. Grandfamilies need our support to help them get access to financial assistance, apply for health coverage for their grandchildren and establish a smoother process for gaining guardianship of the children in their care. Grandfamilies need to be able to easily find local training and support services for their grandchildren in their own neighborhoods.

Learn more about grandfamilies and kinship care here. If you are a grandparent raising your grandchildren, get peer support by joining the Arizona Grandparent Ambassadors at http://www.azga.org/.

Cities that proclaimed Kinship Care Month include: Apache Junction, Buckeye, Casa Grande, Florence, Gilbert, Goodyear, Humboldt, Litchfield Park, Payson, Phoenix, Prescott, Queen Creek, Safford, Scottsdale, Surprise, and Tucson.

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