HARRISBURG – Legislation that will assist grandparents raising their grandchildren better access resources was signed into law, according to Rep. Doyle Heffley (R-Carbon), who co-sponsored the measure.
Act 89 of 2018 establishes the Kinship Caregiver Navigator Program, an informational resource for these grandparents that will operate both as a website and a toll-free hotline. The website will offer information to grandparents on support and services available, and a specially trained navigator will provide support and guidance, and serve as a mediator to establish relationships with federal, state and local agency staff.
“There is no question the number of grandparents struggling to raise their grandchildren is on the rise in Pennsylvania due to the opioid epidemic, and they need some help,” said Heffley. “Most of these grandparents aren’t asking for a handout, just some guidance. Thanks to this legislation, that guidance will now be available to them through this program.”
The cost to state taxpayers will be greatly reduced, as the Commonwealth just received $479,307 from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Children and Families to develop the program.
Heffley added that another measure to help grandchildren is also now state law. Act 88 of 2018 grants temporary guardianship to grandparents when the parents of the grandchildren are unable to care for them primarily due to substance abuse issues.
An estimated 82,000 grandparents are the sole caregivers for the nearly 89,000 grandchildren in Pennsylvania.
Representative Doyle Heffley
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Andy Briggs