Parents for a Second Time
Chris Concannon cares for his two-year-old granddaughter, Sophia, five days a week.
Although Concannon is not raising his granddaughter, there are more than four million children living in grandparent-headed households in the U.S. In Missouri, more than 77,000 children live with their grandparents.
A support group of grandparents raising their grandchildren meets monthly at the Columbia Area Senior Center. The grandparents don't just talk about their joys and hardships of raising their grandchildren. They discuss a variety of issues from grandparent-grandchild relations, to handling stress, and right down to the legal issues of raising grandchilden.
57-year-old Janice Schneider contacted the federal government asking for financial aid. She receives no assistance.
"I'm hoping that there can be more assistance and support groups for grandparents raising grandchildren," she said.
Schneider has sole custody of her grandson and he has lived with her for the past 8 years.
"It's harder in our older years to take on their responsibilty both financially and emotional and it's just difficult at this age to start raising babies and carrying a diaper bag in your fifties," Schneider added.
Schneider says the group meetings are helpful, and they make "grand motherhood" a bit easier.