Help for the Caregivers

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Monday, September 29, 2008

The Sept. 18 Metro article "Court Gives Child Agency in D.C. 2 Weeks to Form Plan" made me think of my own situation and that of many others like me in the District. I am a grandmother raising my 4-year-old grandson, Isaiah, on my own.

I never thought that as a 50-year-old I would be raising children again. But I am the sole caregiver for Isaiah, who suffers from chronic lung disease and was recently diagnosed with autism. I love him dearly and am committed to taking care of him.

But times are rough, and we struggle every day just to get by. For six months, we have been on the waiting list for the District Grandparent Caregiver Pilot Program, which provides low-income grandparents with the same monthly support a foster parent would receive. As of two weeks ago, we were No. 46. This subsidy would make a world of difference in our lives. It would help me buy food, pay the rent and keep the electricity on.

This program is an example of where the city has got it right. If a child has a loving home and a grandparent's watchful eye, he or she is in good hands. The city should provide more funding to good programs such as this one so that families like mine can make ends meet while raising our own.

PAULA McMILLIAN

Washington


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