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Housing facility opens to help grandparents raising grandchildren

The first-ever facility designed to help grandparents raise their grandchildren has opened, and, if successful, it may spread to Georgia. Although many people in Austell think about families with a mother, a father and children, there are an increasing number of grandparents raising their grandchildren. Whether it is because the children's parents are unfit or have died, when grandparents have custody of the children, they often have concerns that parents might not have.

For some grandparents raising their grandchildren, they are in the midst of or on the cusp of retirement. Trying to raise children with a fixed and limited income can be difficult, and it may push some families into poverty, if not force the grandparents to go out and get a job. This new housing facility, however, was designed to help these kinds of grandparents get through some of the most difficult aspects of raising grandchildren.

The facility was built with low-income families in mind. The agency that built and funded the housing facility was also one of only two in the entire country to receive a federal grant to help cover the cost. Ultimately, if this type of facility succeeds, it could be replicated in Georgia and across the country.

There are numerous legal considerations that also go into giving grandparents temporary or permanent custody of grandchildren. The state tries its hardest to first award custody to one or both parents. But if that is not possible, the grandparents must show that they are capable guardians who can look after the children's best interests, which often requires legal arguments and substantial evidence.

Source: News Channel 5, “TN Facility First In Nation For Grandparents Raising Grandkids,” Adam Ghassemi, July 1, 2013

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William C. Gentry, Attorney at Law

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