02/02/2007 - Letter to the Editor:Grandparents like Dolores and Howard Guinn, along with many other Sweetwater County seniors, have the unanticipated responsibility of raising their grandchildren.
Across the country, many grandparents step forward to help grandchildren, some of them who are placed as foster children. Support groups are a tremendous help, but they are not enough.
Currently, federal foster care funds cannot be used to support children living with relatives who wish to become legal guardians, when adoption or reunification with their parents is not an option. As a result, children stay in foster care longer than necessary.
If Congress provided support for these relatives by subsidizing legal guardianships, an estimated 20,000 children could leave foster care for permanent, loving homes with relatives rather than languishing in an already overloaded foster care system, and families would get the help they need.
If we truly value families like these, doesn't it make sense for our federal government to do more to help them?