Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Update

Message from Rodlyn Brown,
President of AARP Wai`anae Chapter

Email: rodlynb@juno.com

Attachments:
1. Grandparents Raising Grandchildren and the Grandparents Don’t Have Legal Status
2. STAND. COM. REP. NO. 1190-08
3. Child Protection Act, SB No. 2730 SD2 HD1
4. SB2830 SD2 HD1

Where should we be standing on this. We all know that we have a huge problem out here on the Waianae coast…The Grandparents that are raising their grandchildren need all the help we can give them. Please let me know how I can help and where to go. You all have the force to keep this bill alive and get the intent to the bill on the side of the grandparents. These Keiki are our responsibility NOW.
Mahalo for ALL the help you can give., Rodlyn

Please note: forwarded message attached
Aloha, Rodlyn

[Forwarded Message from Patricia Urieff]
It was a wonderful experience for me to see you again on March 14th. I thought you were at North America busy with your adult children and grandchildren.

1. SB 2730 is at the point where in a confirmed CPS Case, DHS must find the child’s grandparents and relatives ASAP, do the comprehensive assessment, and if they have the capacity to keep the child safe and nurtured, then DHS must give preference to the grandparents and relatives to become the Licensed Foster Parent and later (if the parents show no capacity to keep the children safe/nurtured) the Adoptive Parent. This bill is heading for the Judiciary Committee.

2. HB 2198, Task Force to Discuss Issues of Grandparents Raising Grandchildren. The bill focused at supporting “Family Caregivers who give 24/7 care to children they must raise” was deferred (from action) on 03/38/08 because mention of the Task Force for GRG is in the Omnibus Bill SB 2830.

3. SB 2830 includes the Task Force for GRG.
• This omnibus bill looks heavy and asks for funding for supporting “Family Caregivers of Elderly/aged/disabled” at a time when legislators say money is tight and they don’t want to spend.
• It includes “Family Caregivers, Grandparents Raising Grandchildren”.

Having a Task Force to discuss GRG issues won’t cost money. It will be about making the DOE (paid salary people) more aware of kids in GRG homes, and DOE doing better to give those families resource info.

The Task Force needs to ask Dept. of Health to stop denying a grandparent (without legal status) from getting mental health services for the grandchild in the grandparent’s 24/7 care and the child has disturbing behaviors, needs help.

The Task Force needs to follow-up with DHS report (August 2007 to the Joint Legislative Committee on Family Caregivers) that DHS was going to consider making a special category of Financial Assistance for (finically) Needy Grandparents Raising Grandchildren (versus now lumping this group of GRG into the “Non-needy Caretakers Financial Assistance of about $400.00 to take care of each child. With the cost of food, gasoline, rent, shoes/clothes for a kid, $400.00 is not enough.

Grandparents raising three grandsons told me they can’t get new glasses nor go to the dentist because it’s more important to buy sports equipment to keep those three boys busy and interested in sports. I gave them the atta-boy for knowing the way to prevent problems. But I know they are sacrificing what they shared and more (like prescription meds, vitamins, and everything they enjoy in life). Don’t you think the Task Force can discuss if the organized sports organizations need to be aware of kids growing up with grandparents and the Rotary Club etc. to help these families?

Rodlyn, please send support for hearings re SB 2730 Child Welfare; and for SB 2830, Omnibus Bill for Family Caregivers.

Please pass on to AARP folks that GRG need their supports.

Mahalo and Aloha.

Patricia Urieff, LSW
Queen Lili`uokalani Children’s Center, Systems Facilitator
Honolulu, Hawaii

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