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prepared by the Probate Court and published with help from the Administration of Children and Families, Court Improvement Program What type of caregiver is best for the child? What court should you go through? What does the law require of you and the child's parents? What else do you need to know as a caregiver? What resources and services are available?
Information about Sex Offenders A Guide for Parents, Foster Parents and Guardians
adapted from the website of the Massachusetts Sex Offender Registry Board
Kinship International Network (KIN) reports that in December 2013, the Australian Government referred the matter of grandparents raising grandchildren to the Senate
A West Australian Senator said the number of grandparents who have postponed retirement to look after children was on the rise, yet the government knew little about the challenges they faced.
The Massachusetts Guardianship Association (MGA)
Provides information and resources for individuals, families and professionals about Guardianship and Conservatorship including information about becoming a Guardian of a Minor, the process and the responsibilities.
2013 State Child Care Assistance Report
The National Womens Law Center has released a report on 2013 State Child Care Assistance Policies for all states in the country.
Advice to friends and families of Grandparents raising Grandchildren
Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC)
The Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children outlines the process that states have to ensure consistent protection and services to children who are placed across state lines.
The Silver-haired Safety Net
More and more children are being raised by grandparents
Your elected officials want to hear from you!
The best way to educate our legislature about the issues that affect grandparents raising grandchildren is by speaking up. One of the real achievements of the Commission has been an increase in the amount of information legislators are receiving in the form of calls, letters and e-mails from grandparents like you. Please take time to share your viewpoints with them. The result will be better policy and the resources grandparents need to help their families thrive. Follow this link www.malegislature.gov, enter your zip code under "Find a Legislator" and click on Search. Click on your legislator's name for contact information.
A grandmother's love endures, despite red tape
Massachusetts Law Review-Kinship Care Reform: A Proposal for Consent Legislation in Massachusetts
- Revising, updating and releasing a Resource Guide for grandparents;
- Conducting a listening tour for grandparents from across the state of Massachusetts (Listening and Learning Tour);
- Using the feedback from that tour to identify the issues most important to grandparents and kin and preparing a written report Listening Tour Report; and an article Grandparents raising Grandchildren, from toiling to spoiling;
- And forming smaller subcommittees or working groups in the following areas:
- Legal information and access to legal services (Lynn Girton, chair)
- Information and Referral, navigating the system (Kerry Bickford, chair)
- Economic support and self sufficiency (John Lepper, chair)
- Developing Grandparent support groups across the state (Manuela DaCosta, chair)
Although Commissioners chair working groups, there are many community members and organizations represented on these committees who have made generous contributions of time and ongoing support. As a result, we have made great progress moving forward on many initiatives that empower and educate grandparents about the choices that they have and the resources available to them.
The Information and Referral Sub-committee was tasked with getting accurate information to grandparents who are seeking custody of their grandchildren. This began with the release of the Grandparent Resource Guide in 2009, and continued with several one pagers in our original series called Grandparents, You Are Not Alone, Choices in Custody, and when DCF is involved, which may answer some of your questions about these complicated issues. In addition to this, the Information and Referral Committee built the Commission website, www.massgrg.com, and works hard to keep it current, accurate and user friendly. Presently, it is undergoing a re-design to improve it as a resource.
The Legal Assistance working group has successfully worked to secure funding to help track the needs of indigent grandparents raising grandchildren. Grandparents are invited to call the Senior Legal Helpline at 1-866-778-0939 for assistance. The Legal subcommittee is kept quite busy doing research on the many issues that are raised within the Commission, and through grandparent questions and feedback. The subcommittee also continues to explore ways to increase the availability of legal resources for grandparents, many of whom are low income and unable to afford private counsel.
The Support group subcommittee spent a period of several months conducting a mapping project to identify viable support groups across Massachusetts and to help pinpoint where support groups were needed. Through the Department of Children and Families, they secured funding to start an additional six support groups (see the Support Groups link at the top of the home page).
On June 16, 2014, the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Grandparents Raising Grandchildren, together with the Department of Children and Families and the Executive Office of Elder Affairs, sponsored its Third Annual Statewide Conference: Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Community Supporters and Providers at Worcester State University. The daylong event provided an opportunity to meet, collaborate and learn from various providers and state agencies working with and on behalf of grandparents raising grandchildren from across the Commonwealth. There were resource and information sharing opportunities for grandparents and other kinship caregivers providing a forum for them to share their stories with community providers, lawmakers, and others to advocate for kinship caregivers across the state.
The Economic Support and Self Sufficiency group has been able to successfully navigate a state appropriation of $20,000.00, currently used to help track the needs of indigent grandparents raising grandchildren for FY 2012 and FY 2013, thanks to the efforts of Paul Donato. This group also worked successfully toward finding a fiscal agent - the Massachusetts Council on Aging. Other concerns of this group include seeking funding for a Warm Line Proposal that would help address the specific needs of grandparents and provide more support.
This work has all been done by volunteers. In addition, some of the Commissioners run support groups, others represent the Commission at events when we are invited to present, and still others spend many hours behind the scenes talking to grandparents, community groups, and advancing the work of the Commission on the legislative level.
We are committed to the grandparents' voice, and we invite you learn more about the Commission and especially to work with us as we continue to move forward. Grandparents contribute so much to their families and communities. Please join us in supporting them.