Raising Grandchildren

Debra Aldridge makes dinner as her grandson Mario Hendricks talks to a cousin about a sleep-over at the cousin's home on Chicago's South Side.

CHICAGO (AP) — More grandparents are taking on the role of parents for their grandkids, as social service agencies try to place foster children in so-called kinship families.

Experts say the trend is likely to continue as the nation responds to the opiate epidemic.

Military deployment and a growth in the number of incarcerated women are other factors forcing grandparents to step into parental roles.

Research has shown that children fare better with family than in foster care.

Yet many grandparents are living on limited incomes, and that makes it difficult to take on the job of rearing a child.

Georgia and some other states are offering financial aid for kinship families. States such as Washington are using kinship family navigators to help grandparents work their way around the system.

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