If you are the grandparent of a child whose parents have gone through a divorce, and neither parent is deemed fit to care for the child, it is possible you have become the child’s primary guardian. In Tennessee, “kinship care” is another term that is used for foster care where the grandparents are caring for the child. Grandparents who are legally appointed caregivers may be able to get support from the state itself or from other various organizations.

Subsidized guardianship

 The American Association of Retired Persons provides a list of some resources available for grandparent guardianship in Tennessee. If your grandchild has been in your home for six months and there is no prospect of him or her going back into the care of either of his or her parents, you may potentially be eligible for subsidized guardianship. If you have been able to meet the child’s emotional and physical needs, you can contact your regional permanency specialists and ask about the federal Guardianship Assistance Program.

Other programs for assistance

 Your county may have a local center for the Relatives as Parents Program. This organization can offer you support groups, summer reading programs, respite counseling, tutoring, mentoring and possible legislative advocacy if the need arises.

The AARP also has a support line you can call that offers free help. You may also wish to contact the Campora Family Resource Center, which provides support groups, referrals and information for kinship care.

This article is purely informative in nature and should not be used as legal advice.