Nearly 70,000 Grandparents Raising Grandchildren in Arkansas

SEPTEMBER 11, 2006 - Posted at 5:59 a.m. CDT

SPRINGDALE, AR - A northwest Arkansas group is working to address a family trend of the last several years...grandparents raising grandchildren.

Nearly 70,000 grandparents in Arkansas are raising their children's children.  And Susan Hernandez of the Center for Effective Parenting says it's a growing phenomenon.  The number one reason for the change, she says, are drugs and drug abuse.  The center in Springdale offers support groups for grandparents raising their grandchildren, as well as free parenting classes.

Many of the children have behavior problems because they feel rejected by their parents and sometimes the grandparents feel isolated themselves.  There are also legal issues.  Hernandez says that while many grandparents have sole custody of their grandchildren, they don't always have the paperwork to back it up or the money for a lawyer to get the legal work done.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)