PA Rep. Ron Marsico (R-105) reports two new laws signed by Governor Tom Wolf will assist grandparents raising their grandchildren and help them better access both private and public resources.
House Bill 2133, now Act 89 of 2018, will establish the Kinship Caregiver Navigator Program, an informational resource for grandparents that will operate both as a website and a toll-free hotline.
Marsico explained the program’s website will offer information on support and services available, and a specially trained navigator through the hotline will be able to provide support and guidance to kinship caregivers. Marsico added the navigator will also serve as a mediator to establish relationships between kinship caregivers and relevant federal, state and local agency staff.
Marsico pointed out the cost to state taxpayers for the program will be greatly reduced, as the Commonwealth announced it has received $479,307 from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Children and Families to develop the program.
The second measure to help grandchildren, House Bill 1539, now Act 88 of 2018, will allow grandparents to have temporary guardianship when the parents of the grandchildren are unable to care for them primarily due to substance abuse issues.
“An estimated 82,000 grandparents are the sole caregivers for the nearly 89,000 grandchildren in Pennsylvania,” Marsico noted.