Update: Sen. Brown discusses bill aiding foster children care

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Update: 5/2/2019

US. Senator Sherrod Brown has introduced legislation increasing financial support for those caring for children whose parents are victims of the addiction crisis.

He says that includes family members, such as grandparents, caring for children whose birth parents are unable to do so.

"I think it's important to partner from the state and federal governments with local communities," Sen. Brown said in an interview Thursday, "so these families can be intact enough to raise these children. Otherwise, these children are just forgotten about, because they don't have parents who can take care of them."

Brown's bill would provide funding to pay for children's needs, such as child care and transportation.

He says it could also help in the recruiting of foster parents.


Thanks largely to the opioid epidemic, West Virginia ranks second in the nation in the number of children living with grandparents instead of their parents.

And Wood County agencies Tuesday learned how to form a coalition aimed at helping what are called "grandfamilies".

The group Healthy Grandfamilies, based at West Virginia State University, hopes to have such coalitions in all 55 counties by the end of the year.

They will provide social workers to help grandparents find community resources and support programs.

"The premise is that you draw upon the resources you already have within the county," says Bonnie Dunn, the organization's program director. "You come together, you drop territorial lines; those invisible lines in the sand we often draw between agencies, and come together for the good of these families."

The program can also help grandparents, and great-grandparents, locate people to care for children if they eventually are unable to do so.

Wood County is the fourth state to put together such a coalition.