In times of family needs, it is common for grandparents to take the wheel. This is often the case for many Tennessee parents who find they cannot provide the best care for a child. One factor of grandparent adoption that has come into nationwide focus is that of the opioid crisis; when an addiction enters the picture, this process can become all the more excruciating.
Tennessee is one of a number of states that has seen a significant rise in opioid abuse. While this epidemic is certainly an issue on its own, it has sparked much debate over how children of addicted parents should move forward. Will the state see more grandparent-headed families in the near future?
Facing the Facts
Unfortunately, Tennessee is not the only state to see a rapid increase in opioid overdoses in recent years. Last October, NBC News reported on the epidemic’s effects on grandparents, many of whom have spent their retirement savings on legal fees and daycare to care for a grandchild when parents have succumbed to addiction. The process is hardly simple: many grandparents face the challenges of caring for young children, appearing at a long string of court dates and struggling to make financial ends meet. NBC adds that these obstacles all exist on top of coping with a child’s own addiction. Statistics show that the number of children in foster care has skyrocketed, and many officials blame the opioid crisis.
Finding a Balance
While situations may wear heavily on grandparents who take on the responsibility of raising another generation, there are accessible resources available, as Grandfamilies.org shares. According to this national resource, there are various programs in Tennessee that help grandparents raise grandchildren. Many of these programs offer information on various benefits, educational guidance and other areas of support that grandparents can access when starting a new grand family chapter.