By Karen Best Wright, www.RaisingYourGrandchildren.com
Most grandparents and other relatives bring children into their homes to prevent children from going into the foster care system. Most of us do not want to deal with the "system" and for good reasons. However, there are cases when working through the "system" and becoming a foster parent to your grandchild or relative's child may be a better option. I think it really depends on two things, 1. The type of relationship you have with the parent/s, and 2. Your own financial situation.
I recently received an email from a young mother who thought she might need to bring her cousin's child into her home with her family. However, she did not want to deal with her cousin on the issue. She wrote that at the moment the child was not being taken from the mother but felt that might happen in the future. So she visited the local social services and introduced herself. She wanted them to know who she was and find out what she needed to do if it came to that point. She felt she would rather deal with the social workers than her cousin. If things got worse and the child was going to be taken from the mother, everyone wanted the child to stay within the large extended family.
After reading her email, I thought she must really have a rocky relationship with her cousin if she would rather deal with social services. They can be horrid to deal with. But I thought it was good that the young woman was planning ahead. If the child stays with the mother, than this young woman will take care of her own family and not interfere. Should social services decide they need to step in and take the child, they have in their records who to call. It sounded as though this young woman was being compassionate but also using her head while assessing what she was and was not willing to do.
A grandmother in love with her grandchildren