Kinship Caregivers -- Raising of Children Often Falls to Family Members outside of Parents

By Warren, Beth | The Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN), June 4, 2012 | Go to article overview

Kinship Caregivers -- Raising of Children Often Falls to Family Members outside of Parents


Warren, Beth, The Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)


Memphis grandmother Dora Bell envisioned tranquil years as a retiree. Instead, she's raising her daughter's six children.

Bell, 55, now has custody of five girls - ages 2, 3, 5, 11 and 13, along with a 15-year-old boy.

"I'm supposed to be out there on a cruise ship," she said.

But when her daughter was unable to raise the children, Bell stepped in and had to quit her job at the Southeast Mental Health Center.

"Some days it's exhausting, but I didn't want them in foster care," said Bell, who did not want to discuss her daughter's situation.

The past decade has seen a rapid increase in the number of children being raised by family friends or relatives other than their parents, according to a new national study. That number now surpasses 2.7 million nationally, or 4 percent of all children.

It has climbed to 67,000 in Tennessee.

In Shelby County, nearly 12,000 grandparents were responsible for their grandchildren at the time of the 2005 U.S. Census , the most recent data. In 4,500 of those households, the children's parents did not live in the home.

Grandparents and other caregivers often don't have the financial or emotional support they need to raise children, according to a recent study funded by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, a national child advocacy organization.

In Tennessee, 5 percent - or one child out of 20 - lives with relatives or family friends instead of their parents, said Linda O'Neal, executive director of the Tennessee Commission on Children and Youth , which participated in the study. It's one of the highest rates in the nation.

The KIDS COUNT report found that kinship families are more likely to be headed by someone poor, single, older, unemployed and less educated than heads of families in which at least one parent is present. And kinship families often find barriers when seeking help and don't access financial aid, mental health and other services, according to the study.

Bell said her oldest grandchildren, ages 11, 13 and 15, initially struggled with the separation from their mother, but are now thriving in school and in activities such as sports and singing.

Bell said the children received counseling and she received peer support through the Shelby County Relative Caregiver Program, run by the University of Tennessee Health Science Center.

"You need a safety net like the kinship program to get you back on track," Bell said.

Many kids who end up in kinship families have already experienced trauma separating from their parents, while others have been abused or neglected by their parents, said O'Neal with the TCCY, the Tennessee affiliate of the KIDS COUNT project.

A recent court case illustrates the kinds of difficulty kinship families can face.

A 15-year-old who is being raised by her grandparents was placed in state custody Wednesday for intentionally setting fire to a Germantown hotel. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Kinship Caregivers -- Raising of Children Often Falls to Family Members outside of Parents
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.