As a grandparent, you probably will do anything for your grandchildren. Something that is becoming more common is grandparents stepping in to raise their grandchildren. If you end up in this situation because your child’s parents are unable to care for them, you may feel overwhelmed. However, Tennessee has a Relative Caregiver Program, according to the Department of Children’s Services, that can help you through the transition and assist you as needed to provide the best care possible to your grandchildren.

Stepping in to care for your grandchildren can keep them from having to enter the foster system. While it is a very wonderful thing you are doing, it may still be tricky. The Relative Caregiver Program offers you support services. These services include support groups, information and referrals to help you and the children adjust to this new living situation. The program also provides advocacy assistance and may be able to offer you financial help.

You may get financial help to help with the transition and adjustment to having the children in your home. There is also assistance for emergency financial situations. However, to receive this, you cannot get money from the foster system or any other program. In addition, you must not have an income that is twice the federal poverty guideline.

It is not an easy job to take over the care of your grandchildren, but it is one that you will cherish and that your grandchildren will thank you for doing. That does not mean you have to do it alone. Through the Relative Caregiver Program, you can get help when you need it to make sure you and the children thrive. This information is for education and is not legal advice.