Bipartisan Bill Would Support Granite State Families Impacted by Opioid Epidemic
WASHIGTON – Senator Maggie Hassan cosponsored the bipartisan Supporting Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Act, which was introduced by Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Bob Casey (D-PA).
The bipartisan bill would establish a federal task force to support grandparents raising grandchildren to help them better meet the needs of the children in their care and to strengthen the health and well-being of grandparents and grandchildren. A growing consequence of the opioid crisis is the increasing number of grandparents raising their grandchildren because of the children’s parents overdosing and being absent because of their substance use disorder.
“The devastating fentanyl, heroin, and opioid epidemic is taking a toll on families across New Hampshire, including many grandparents who end up caring for their grandchildren because the parents have died or are not available because of their substance use disorders,” Senator Hassan said. “This bipartisan bill would launch a federal effort to support those families, as well as other grandparents who care for their grandchildren for other reasons, and it is important that we pass this bill without delay to strengthen the health and well-being of children and families in New Hampshire and across the country.”
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 include the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the U.S. Attorney General, the Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Abuse, as well as other expert leaders. 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.