Bipartisan Bill Will Help Strengthen Health and Well-Being of Granite State Families Impacted by the Opioid Epidemic
WASHINGTON – Senator Maggie Hassan today applauded Senate passage of the bipartisan Supporting Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Act, which she cosponsored, to ensure that grandparents raising grandchildren are better able to meet the needs of the children in their care.
A growing consequence of the opioid crisis is the increasing number of grandparents raising their grandchildren because of the children’s parents overdosing or being absent because of their substance use disorders. The bipartisan Supporting Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Act, which was introduced by Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Bob Casey (D-PA), would support those grandparents, establishing a federal task force to help grandparents raising grandchildren better meet the needs of the children in their care and to strengthen the health and well-being of both the grandparents and grandchildren.
“More and more grandparents in New Hampshire and across the country are taking on the role of primary caregivers for their grandchildren because the parents have died are or are absent due to their substance use disorders” Senator Hassan said. “The bipartisan Supporting Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Act will help ensure that these grandparents have the support necessary to meet the needs of the grandchildren in their care – and to strengthen their own health and well-being in their new role. However, while this federal task force is an important step, we know that it will ultimately take more resources to support these families and to truly stem – and reverse – the tide of this horrible epidemic.”
The Supporting Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Act would create a federal task force charged with developing and disseminating information designed to help grandparents raising grandchildren navigate the school system, plan for their families’ future, address mental health issues for themselves and their grandchildren, and build social and support networks. The task force would serve as a one-stop shop of resources and information for grandparents raising grandchildren, and would also be charged with producing a reports to Congress on their findings both about best practices to support grandparents and any identified gaps in resource needs for grandparents raising grandchildren.