Congress finds the following:
(1) More than 2,500,000 grandparents in the United States are the primary caretaker of their grandchildren, and experts
report that such numbers are increasing as the opioid epidemic expands.
(2) Between 2009 and 2016, the incidence of parental alcohol or other drug use as a contributing factor for children’s
out-of-home placement rose from 25.4 to 37.4 percent.
(3) When children cannot remain safely with their parents, placement with relatives is preferred over placement in foster
care with nonrelatives because placement with relatives provides stability for children and helps them maintain family
(4) The number of foster children placed with a grandparent or other relative increased from 24 percent in 2006 to 32
percent in 2016, according to data from the Department of Health and Human Services.
(5) Grandparents’ lives are enhanced by caring for their grandchildren; the overwhelming majority of grandparents
report experiencing significant benefits in serving as their grandchildren’s primary caregivers.
(6) Providing full-time care to their grandchildren may decrease grandparents’ ability to address their own physical
and mental health needs and personal well-being.
(7) Grandparents would benefit from better coordination and dissemination of information and resources available to
support them in their caregiving responsibilities.