Grandparents – being a parent second time around

Year Published: 2013

It is now more common than ever for grandparents to care for their grandchildren, due mainly to the escalating costs of child care. Caring for the grandchildren for a few hours each week is hard but rewarding work,but a number of grandparents are making the huge sacrifice of giving up their retirement to care for their grandchildren on a full time basis.

In some circumstances, children can be placed with grandparents if their parents are unable to cope, whether it be for drug and alcohol issues, problems in their relationship or mental health problems. The often chaotic lives of these parents sadly put their children at risk and so some grandparents step in to care on a full time basis.

Grandparents may find that social workers who may initially be involved with the family, leave them to it as they know they are doing a good job.

A recent report has indicated that kinship carers save the tax payer at least £23,000 a year for each child they are caring for and despite the fact that children may have had a difficult upbringing initially, they more often than not do well both emotionally and academically, thanks to the care they have been given.

Benefits are available to grandparents as carers for children and support should be provided by the local authority, but some pay and some do not. There is an assessment process to follow.  If grandparents need to regularise the arrangements for the future of their grandchildren’s care, the best way of doing this is by applying to court, whether it be for a ‘residence order’ or for a ‘special guardianship order’.

If you are a grandparent caring for your grandchildren and need advice regarding the above please contact our Family Law team on 0161 475 7676.

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