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Brown Expects Trump To Sign Bill Supporting Grandparents In Opioid Crisis

Sen. Sherrod Brown
Andrew Harnik
Associated Press

Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) is touting a bill recently passed by Congress to support grandparents now raising their grandchildren in light of the opioid epidemic.

Brown introduced the "Supporting Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Act." His bill establishes a federal task force to help grandparents identify, coordinate and share resources related to raising grandchildren.

“The taskforce will share resources to help grandparents and other relatives maintain their health and wellbeing,” Brown says.

The bill was partly inspired by the growing number of grandparents who find themselves raising their grandchildren.

“Two and a half million grandparents in the United States,” Brown says. “One hundred thousand in Ohio are the primary caretaker of the grandchildren. Obviously not all because of opioid addiction, but a big part of that.”

That can mean major lifestyle changes for grandparents.

“For so many grandparents, then, it means the end of retirement, going back to work, or depletion of savings,” Brown says. “Family members don’t often qualify for the financial support a foster parent would receive taking on an additional child.”

The Supporting Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Act has passed the House and Senate and awaits the signature of President Trump.

Adora Namigadde was a reporter for 89.7 NPR News. She joined WOSU News in February 2017. A Michigan native, she graduated from Wayne State University with a B.A. in Broadcast Journalism and a minor in French.