According to 2010 census data, 4.9 million kids were living with their grandparents, which was almost twice as many as the reported 2.4 million kids who were living with their grandparents a decade earlier. There were many reasons cited as to why more children were living with their grandparents; one of them was the fact that it has become preferable for many courts to place children who cannot live with their parents with another family member.
Many grandparents themselves are taking responsibility for their grandchildren when they have nowhere else to go if state agencies determine that they cannot safely live with their parents due to mental illness, abuse or death, for instance. However, these grandparents may not always be financially able to provide for their second round of parenting. The good news is that there are many resources being provided by the federal government, community groups and major colleges such as the University of Wisconsin for grandparents in this situation.
These resources teach grandparents how to apply for reduced price or free school lunches for their kids, how to obtain power of attorney and how to get applicable consent forms that are signed by the child's parents. All of these items can make it easier for those who may lack financial resources to provide for their grandchildren.
In all cases involving child custody, a court will want to uphold the best interest of the children involved. If a child is better of living with his or her grandparents, a judge may grant them custody if they are willing to take the child. This may be true whether or not the child's parents object to this arrangement. Talking to a family law attorney may help grandparents looking to gain custody of their grandchildren secure custody.
Source: Deseret News, "At granny's house: More children raised by grandparents than before", Lois M. Collins, August 05, 2014