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San Antonio grandparent's receive back to school support for kids

As many grandparents in Brazos County and around Texas know, raising their grandkids can be a challenging task, both financially and emotionally. One area group hopes to help these grandparents by providing access to school supplies and vouchers to help their grandkids prepare for the start of the school year. Earlier this month, more than 90 grandparents took advantage of a program that offers supplies and a small voucher to help their grandkids get ready to learn.

Families picked up more than 200 backpacks filled with supplies that were collected during a back-to-school drive by the Alamo Area Council of Governments. In San Antonio, classes begin later this month and greater than 300,000 students are expected to be enrolled in area schools this year. The average family spends almost $700 in back-to-school purchases, and many of these families are lead by grandparents on a limited, fixed income. They appreciate any help they can get in raising their grandkids.

In fact, San Antonio ranks in the top ten in the number of American cities with grandparents raising their grandkids. As so many families are finding out when a parent cannot take care of his or her children the grandparent will often step in as the only person able to provide a stable, loving environment for those children. These grandparents are often on a fixed income that does not always allow for extras, including school supplies. Thus more that 95 grandparents were grateful to each receive $75 tax-exempt vouchers for almost 300 children.

The vouchers were part of a $20,000 funds set aside by the Bexar Area Agency on Aging. These vouchers are only part of the services the agency provides to grandparents or kinship caregivers aged 55 years or older and are raising grandchildren up to the age of 18. Grandparents who are raising the offspring of their children are a growing group and in some cases it may be beneficial for them to solidify a guardian relationship through legal means.

There may be times when a grandparent needs to be the legal guardian of his or her grandchild in order to qualify for certain programs and assistance, or simply to stabilize the child's home life and protect their rights as a primary caregiver. Times are tough for a great many families around the country and as more grandparents fulfill the role of the primary caregiver in households, more agencies need to understand their needs and offer support, including the type of back-to-school support provided by the Bexar Area Agency on Aging.

Source: My San Antonio, "Grandparents get some school aid," Vincent T. Davis, Aug. 11, 2012

Our Houston, Texas, law firm handles a wide variety of family law issues, including grandparents' rights as discussed in the above post.

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