March 23, 2018

Manchin Applauds Bill Passage that Supports Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Due to Opioid Epidemic

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) applauded the Senate passage of the Supporting Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Act, which will create a federal task force charged with supporting grandparents raising grandchildren.

“Grandparents across this country are stepping up to raise their grandchildren more and more because parents are falling victim to the opioid epidemic,” Senator Manchin said. “This bill creates a task force to help these grandparents who, through no fault of their own, are unequipped to deal with modern school systems and the mental health toll this epidemic is taking on their grandchildren. As we continue to fight this epidemic we must remember the toll it takes on individual families and provide support in whatever way we can. I am proud the Supporting Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Act passed the Senate last night.”

In Senator Manchin’s report detailing how the opioid epidemic impacts people of all ages, he highlighted the fact that more than 2.7 million people nationwide are raising grandchildren, and that figure is only rising due to the opioid epidemic. Of these grandparents 21 percent of grandparents caring for grandkids live below the poverty line, 39 percent of these grandparents are over 60 and 26 percent of these grandparents have a disability. To read the Senator Manchin’s full report, click here. 

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 includes 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 experts and leaders. The task force would serve as a one-stop-shop of resources and information for grandparents raising grandchildren. The taskforce would also be charged with reporting to Congress on their findings both about best practices to support grandparents and any identified gaps in resource needs for grandparents raising grandchildren.