(PA) Casey’s Bill to Support Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Becomes Law

In Pennsylvania, more than 100,000 children are being raised by grandparents or other relatives, and experts say this number is rising as the opioid epidemic devastates communities.

Senator Casey introduced the bill last year, with Senator Susan Collins (R-ME), after an Aging Committee hearing during which witnesses testified about why grandparents need easy access to information about available resources. Recently, Senator Casey hosted a series of roundtables with Pennsylvania grandparents to discuss how the bill will help them. “I am pleased that the Supporting Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Act has become law. This law will provide grandparents in Pennsylvania, and across the nation, with easy access to helpful resources,” said Senator Casey.

“These grandparents, some of which have stepped in to raise their grandchildren due to the opioid crisis, are faced with unique challenges such as delaying retirement, bridging the generational divide and working through the court system to secure custody.
I look forward to the Administration swiftly convening the advisory council created under this legislation so grandparents can access the supports they need.”

The Supporting Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Act directs the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to assemble an advisory council that will include the U.S.
Department of Education, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other federal agencies. The advisory council will identify and disseminate information to help grandparents raising grandchildren address the challenges they may face, such as navigating the school system, planning for their families’ future, addressing mental health issues for themselves and their grandchildren and building social and support networks.