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Sen. Mark Kelly co-sponsors bill to help grandparents raising grandkids

U.S. Sen. Mark Kelly co-sponsored a bill to connect grandparents raising grandchildren with additional services and resources.

Kelly said the  Informing Grandfamilies Act would have a meaningful impact on families like those who testified in favor of the bill on Thursday.

“In my state of Arizona, there are about 62,000 grandparents who, like the two of you, are the primary responsible caregivers for the grandchildren,” Kelly said.

Kelly said more than half of foster children in Arizona are placed with grandparents or family. That’s a higher rate than the national average.

“This bill will ensure that states are communicating to kinship caregivers, and grand families, what additional supports and relief programs that may be available to them,” Kelly said. “Things like nutrition assistance or Home Energy Assistance.”

Kelly noted rising costs are forcing some grandparents to forgo their own needs, such as certain prescription drugs, to provide for their grandkids. 

More on the podcast Aging: Grandfamilies from Hear Arizona

Kathy Ritchie has 20 years of experience reporting and writing stories for national and local media outlets — nearly a decade of it has been spent in public media.