When their children get hooked on opioids, more ‘grands’ stepping up to raise their grandchildren

Jul 30, 2018 by

Judy Baughn thought she was done raising children – her three sons and daughter are all adults now.

But the West Philadelphia resident now cares full time for her granddaughters, ages 9 and 11, due to the city’s ever-expanding opioid epidemic. Her son and his wife are addicted to heroin.

“My son was supposed to go to rehab, but he never did,” and his two young girls were sent to foster homes in 2015, she said. Baughn petitioned to adopt them from foster care, a process during which “I literally had a heart attack from the stress.”

Baughn is raising the girls by herself. Now, however, she has some help.

“My oldest granddaughter has special needs, so I quit my teaching job and devoted all my time to caring for them,” said Baughn. “I love them so much, but I had to get used to having two little people in the house — and a guinea pig.”

  Courtesy Judy Baughn

Judy Baughn adopted her two granddaughters, Carly and Nevae, as their parents are opioid addicts. Baughn said a new task force for “grandfamilies” affected by the opioid epidemic would help centralize resources.

Last year, Baughn found out about SOWN — Supportive Older Women’s Network — which provides support groups, telephone conference calls, and respite care for grandparents who have taken in their children’s children. More than 100,000 Pennsylvania children are being raised by grandparents or other relatives.

Source: When their children get hooked on opioids, more ‘grands’ stepping up to raise their grandchildren – Philly

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