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Grandparents Go to Washington

Advocates rally at the Capitol to draw attention to the needs of older relatives who are raising children

A crowd of more than 500 people gathered in front of the U.S. Capitol on September 15 to draw attention to the needs of the growing number of grandparents who are raising grandchildren.

See also: Grand day for a GrandRally.

The fourth national GrandRally, sponsored in part by AARP, aimed to educate members of Congress about the importance of family caregivers and the challenges they face. This year, the focus was on the crucial role that Social Security plays in supporting grandfamilies.

Nearly 7.8 million children live in households headed by a grandparent or other relative. More than 2.5 million grandparents report they are responsible for grandchildren living with them — a third with no parent present.

 “One of the main issues that many grandfamilies face is finances,” says Amy Goyer, AARP’s family expert. “That’s why the issue of Social Security is especially important.”

 In addition to AARP, other sponsors of the GrandRally include the Child Welfare League of America, Children's Defense Fund, Generations United, GrandFamilies of America, and National Committee of Grandparents for Children's Rights.

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