Most people in Tennessee assume that once they have raised their children and become grandparents, the hard work is over, and they can enjoy the fun of spoiling their grandkids without having the responsibility of parenting them. While true for many families, the reality for some others can be quite different.

According to a research report conducted last year, AARP indicates that there are more and more grandparents in the United States actively parenting and raising their grandchildren today than in past generations. The reasons for this increase may include the death of a parent, issues with substance abuse and addiction, incarcerations, mental illness and more.

The study reviewed the outcomes for both the grandparents and the grandchildren. It found that despite these grandfamilies, as they are called, generally having lower household incomes, the children were generally well-adjusted and experienced positive outcomes. The grandparents did in cases tend to have more health issues than those older people who were not raising their grandchildren.

Forbes explains that in the summer of 2018, a new law went into effect that is designed to provide essential services for grandfamilies. Called the Support for Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Act, it establishes a new federal council tasked with initiated programs and delivering resources to support both the grandparents and the grandchildren in these family situations. The council will provide regular reporting on its efforts, findings and the results of its programs. The goal is to ensure that both the adults and the children in grandfamilies receive the assistance they need for their physical and emotional well-being.