Living The Grand Life
Probably about 20 years ago, my sister called to say they were making out their will and asked if we would take the kids if anything ever happened to them. We said yes, immediately. It was not until a few years ago that I learned we hadn't been her first choice! She'd asked our Mom if she and Dad would take in her little orphans and admitted she was a bit surprised when Mom had said no. Her reason being that they were old.
Oh, how I can relate to that statement now! Can't you?
But family is... well, family! I have no doubt that if circumstances had arisen and someone had to step up to keep any of their grandchildren out of foster care (or an orphanage, sister!), Mom and Dad would have headed up a grandfam in a heartbeat. So did we, all, when it came down to it because here we are mid-life (or beyond!) with children in the home.
God bless you, by the way, for you are doing a great and wonderful thing!
I knew, even before I actually looked them up, that the numbers were going to be high. But, I was floored by what I discovered! And these heartbreaking statistics were collected from the census in 2010.
I have no doubt they are even higher now.
Our children are in crisis.
Kinship Care is defined by the Division of Family Services as a grandfamily with the following exception: When a foster youth is placed in an agency arranged relative or kinship placement and the placement provider successfully completes the licensure process, that provider will be eligible to receive a monthly maintenance rate equal to that of the traditional foster care payment, plus the $100.00 professional parent incentive rate each month. You can find that information here: https://dss.mo.gov/cd/info/cwmanual/section4/ch12/sec4ch12sub3.htm )
Do you see that last statistic up there?
• For every child being raised in the foster care system, nearly 25 are being raised by grandparents or other relatives outside the system.
I looked up some figures and did some math on that because to me it reads as in foster care as a whole. The ratio number is for every 1 child in Kinship (Foster) Care. Let me say it one more time... Those of us that stepped up strictly because a child was in need, outnumber those families who have joined the foster care system:
I am happy for those children that had family members willing to accept a request from DFS to become a part of the system. You have taken on the stipulations they require to rescue a child from what must feel like total abandonment during a terrifying time in their lives.
But excuse me while I shout,
*\o/* "Hurrah for us!" *\o/*
The vast majority of us saw a child in need and acted. Whether you were responsible for actually removing them from an unsafe living situation or you, immediately, agreed when a parent asked if you would take these children into your home, thank you! We can be responsible for breaking the cycle that has spiraled more out of control generation after generation.
You are teaching a child about unconditional love first hand. THAT is a powerful tool, my friend!
Statistics, also, show that children raised in grandfamilies thrive. Can't ask for a better outcome than that! I am so proud of you, Grands! Baby Boomers may be blamed for having accelerated this tailspin to warp speed, but some of us were, obviously, learning from the greatest generation and it's time to get back to our roots!
The last statistic on this list blows me away, too.
Are you starting to feel like Atlas? We have shouldered a lot! But, we will endeavor to persevere! This mountain of broken souls (children and their parents alike!) is a heavy burden to bear, but together...
And with Your help, Jesus. We will move it!
The majority of information was taken from Generations United. I encourage you to check it out. There is a wealth of information on that site alone!
Even though sometimes I know it feels like it, you are far from being alone in this situation. There are 2.7 million more of us rooting you on! Let's stand together and #BreakTheCycle! Let our voices unite and become a roar that can not be ignored!
See you next time!
Will and Testament Image Courtesy FreeDigitalPhotos.net