During the current 2018 Legislative Session a renewal of Senate Memorial is being sponsored by Senator Linda A. Lopez. Senate Memorial 83 "recognizes, honors and celebrates" the contributions and accomplishments of Grandparents Raising Grandchildren in the State. The Memorial recognizes that fifty percent of grandparents raising grandchildren have incomes below the poverty level causing the addition of dependent grandchildren to the household to "place immediate strain on family finances and creating an urgent need for access to resources and assistance" and that there is currently no centralized process through which grandparents caring for their grandchildren can access the supports that may be available in the community. Las Cumbres Community Services continues to partner with New Mexico Voices for Children, Pegasus Legal Services for Children, the New Mexico Coalition of Educational Leaders, New Mexico Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), New Mexico PTA, Parents Reaching Out (PRO), the State Human Services Department, New Mexico Children Youth and Families Department, Aging and Long-Term Services, and the Office of the Attorney General to address the needs of these individuals in ther "devoted efforts".
The Memorial sits currently "on the Senate Table" and should be heard soon on the Senate Floor. Call Senator Lopez's office to lend your support, Ph 505.831.4148. The Memorial is being co-sponsored by Senator Gerald Ortiz y Pino, Ph 505.986.4482.
With the 2015 passage of House Memorial 8, a Grandparents Raising Grandchildren (GRG) Task Force was convened to study and recommend policy change to expand the availability of resources and assistance for Grandparents Raising Grandchildren in the state. That Task Force will now be continuing into its third year.
Members of the task force include representatives from NM Voices for Children, Pegasus Legal Services, the State's Children Youth and Families Department (CYFD), NM Public Education Department (PED), NM Aging and Long-term Services, the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), Parents Reaching Out, Outcomes, Inc., and two members from the general public who are themselves grandparents caring for their grandchildren.
Resources under scrutiny include programs related to medical care, transportation, and education. The ultimate aim of the study is to additionally influence health policy as it affects grandparents and the grandchildren in their care. The Task Force is encouraging involvement with housing authorities to assure grandparents of equal and available housing options; enforcement of McKinney Vento; and support for GRG groups by county to include specific funds for training, facilitators, and technical assistance.
Las Cumbres' Grandparents Raising Grandchildren program was launched in January 2012 and continues to serve families in Northern New Mexico with agency groups currently meeting in three counties, Rio Arriba, Santa Fe, and Taos.