Children First: Grandparents as Parents

By: Stephanie Stang
By: Stephanie Stang

September is National Grandparents Month and last Sunday marked the 25th anniversary of Grandparent's Day. According to the U.S. Census grandparents are playing more and more of a parental role in the home. Approximately one in twelve children are living in households headed by grandparents or other relatives.

Fifty-three-year-old Wanda Farmer has already raised three children and she never thought she'd raise another. But after her daughter was incarcerated Wanda and her husband starting taking care of their daughter's 10-year-old, Josh.

In Kentucky the Cabinet for Health Services estimates that more 65,000 children live with their grandparents. Family Court Judge Margaret Huddleston, says it's not unusual for grandparents to become the legal guardians of their grandchildren.

Ironically Farmer is familiar with the grandparent/parental role. She was raised by her grandparents also. She says she realizes how much her grandparents gave up to raise her now that she is raising Josh. Although Farmer says she misses being the grandparent she wouldn't want anyone else to take care of him.

If you are a grandparent raising a grandchild there is a support group in our state.

The Kentucky KinCare project is a statewide network of 43 support groups developed to help out "second time" parents. For more information go to

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