SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Grandparents who are raising their grandchildren in Will County will enjoy a three year pilot program to connect them with helpful resources thanks to legislation passed by state Rep. Natalie Manley, D-Joliet.
“Families come in all shapes and sizes, and many grandparents are stepping up to raise their grandchildren. Grandparents are individuals that may put off their retirement, reallocate their resources, and basically do whatever they need to do to take care of their grandchildren. Their hard work and sacrifice don’t go unnoticed,” Manley said. “Grandparents raising their grandchildren have unique circumstances that necessitate unique policy solutions. The Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Pilot Program will connect them with state assistance programs so they can make sure these children are taken care of.”
According to the Illinois Department on Aging, there are more than 70,000 grandparents caring for their grandchildren in Illinois. To support these individuals, House Bill 780 establishes the Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Pilot Program, which will connect grandparents with relevant services and resources provided by state agencies. The program will be administered by the Department on Aging to operate in Will County from 2024-2027.
“Navigating state agencies to receive assistance and access to other resources can be difficult, which is why the Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Pilot Program is so important. When we support both older adults and children, we’re benefitting some of our most vulnerable community members,” Manley said. “I’m grateful for my colleagues in the House helping pass this bill, and I urge the Senate to do the same and support grandparents across the state.”
House Bill 780 passed with bipartisan support and is being considered by the state Senate. For more information on Manley’s legislative agenda, please visit www.ilga.gov