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Grandparents Day - 80,000 Ohio Gramps and Grans are Doing Double Duty

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September 7, 2007

Columbus, OH - Many grandparents will be treated to cards, flowers, and family dinners this Grandparents Day, and children's advocates say they deserve the extra recognition, especially the more than 80,000 Ohio grandparents who are primary caregivers for their grandchildren.

Barbara Turpin, with the Children's Defense Fund's Ohio office, says the best gift those grandparents could get is a little help dealing with an often difficult financial situation.

"A lot of them are on fixed incomes and they are older and retired, so they didn't anticipate the addition of children back into their homes."

Turpin says grandparents aren't just helping their grandchildren when they take them in, they're helping their communities by playing a crucial role in the child welfare system.

"If all these children were put into our foster care system, there is no way they would be able to be cared for."

She says childcare assistance, eligibility for food stamps, and stipends similar to those received by foster parents would make a big difference for many grandparent caregivers. She adds some help is available in Ohio, and "Kinship Navigator" programs are available in many Ohio counties to help connect grandparents with available services.

Rob Ferrett/Craig Eicher, Public News Service - OH