A newly released report by The Hirtzel Institute on Health Education and Aging at Mercyhurst North East reveals that grandparents raising their grandchildren in Louisiana face barriers to social services and financial support that leave many risking their own medical care and depleting their financial resources.
The Hirtzel Institute, headed by former Pennsylvania Secretary of Aging Dr. Linda Rhodes, undertook the research funded by the Louisiana Children’s Trust Fund last spring and summer. Its report, “The State of Grandfamilies in Louisiana,” showed that grandparents needed after-school programs and transportation, tutoring programs and mental health counseling for the children.
Rhodes said approximately 67,000 grandparents in Louisiana are raising their grandchildren, most informally. She said a legal designation would help them better meet their grandchildren’s needs.
Rhodes said she was gratified that the Hirtzel Institute’s research had already prompted a proposal by Louisiana state Sen. Sharon Weston Broome, D-Baton Rouge, to introduce legislation creating a governmental council to address many of the report’s recommendations.
The Hirtzel Institute’s report can be viewed at: