By Elaine Davis
The opioid crisis impacts families in so many different ways. Bill SB 0011 was introduced in the legislature last year is being sponsored again by Sen. Richard Briggs.
Grandparents contacted the state senator requesting financial aid for caring for a child whose parents overdosed or had been incarcerated.
In some cases, grandparents are living on a fixed income and if there is more than one child to care for this can create a hardship.
The bill would have the Department of Children’s Services establish a three-year pilot program which compensates a relative at half of the full foster care rate. Relative caregivers would not be limited to grandparents. Senator Briggs is recommending that of the $740 million accumulated in the TANF funds (Temporary Assistance to Needy Families) some be used to help those caregivers.