News & Updates

Developments in Congress that Could Hurt Grandparents Raising Grandchildren

There is some troubling news circulating about legislation before Congress that could impact Grandparents Raising Grandchildren:

We've just received additional information that the US House of Representatives is hearing the "Farm Bill" this week, of which the SNAP benefits conversation is part, and voting on this bill is likely to take place this week as well (the week of May 7, 2018). 


Two crucial programs for grandfamilies - SNAP Supplemental Nutrition Program (formerly known as food stamps) and Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) - are being considered for major changes. These changes would severly impact the ability of grandfamilies to qualify for these much-needed programs.

Stories from families that have benefited from these programs are being solicited to show the value of preserving them. If you or a family you know or work with has benefited from SNAP and/or TANF, please contact Adam Ott () so an interveiw can be set up with you or to write up your story to share with members of Congress. Additionally, if you or a family you know have tried to apply for SNAP or TANF but encountered a barrier, those stories are being sought a well.

Here is a little more about the the harmful changes to SNAP that Congress is considering:

  • Requiring the state to pursue child support from parents when the grandfamily caregiver of the parent's child applies for SNAP. This can endanger children in grandfamilies when it results in parents threatening relatives or try to take the children. In addition, relatives are often conflicted about adding the burden of child support to the children's parents who may already be struggling to improve their lives.
  • Requiring careivers under age 60 to work a minimum number of hours per week. This can prove difficult for caregivers who have to reduce their hours or are unable to work in order to better care for children.
  • Reducing the income elegibility. To qualify to receive any nutrition assistance under the propsoed changes, a caregiver under 60 raising one child would have to make less than $21,500 per year  

There are also a series of damaging changes expected to be proposed for the TANF program. We will update you when more information is available. 

Your voices matter! Please contact Adam Ott at the email address/link above so that stores can be collected and shared. Thank you!

    

Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Legislation and Legislative Task Force Continues to Study Resources Available to Grandparents

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.


RELATED NEWS

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.  

Santa Fe and Taos Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Support Groups

 

Grandparents seeking support in Santa Fe, 
join the Grandparents Raising Grandchildren group at our new Santa Fe location!

The second Thursday of every month
4:30 to 6:30pm
1911 Fifth Street, Suite 100
(off of St. Michael's Drive)

Dinner and Childcare provided!

Please help us with a head count if you plan to attend
so we can provide you and your grandchildren with a healthy dinner. 

Call the Santa Fe office in advance at 505.955.0410
or facilitator Naomi Diamond at 703.864.5789.

You can also reach Ms. Diamond for more information
about the group, click on this link .


Taos Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Support Group  

is now underway the first Wednesday of every month.
5:30pm until 7:30pm.
Enos Garcia Elementary School
305 Don Fernando Street
Taos

Support groups include supportive discussion, help accessing resources,
nutritional food, and child care with child-focused activities. 

 For more information on how to be come involved with
the Taos Grandparents Raising Grandchildren program, 
telephone 575.224.3197.


For information on groups in Albuquerque
, hosted by Outcomes, Inc.  visit their Grandparents Program website link: Click Here

Three Albuquerque GRG support groups now available at different locations: Westside Community Center (Third Monday of each month, 6pm-7:30); Outcomes, Inc. Community Room (second Friday of each month, 12noon- 1:30pm); and eRead Center (last Saturday of each month 10am-11:30am). Childcare provided. Review the link above for more.


 

Espanola Grandparents Support Group Meetings

Las Cumbres is proud to announce its fifth year of the Grandparents Raising Grandchildren program for grandparents who are caring for their grandchild or grandchildren. The program offers a monthly meeting place where grandparents can meet others in the same situation and learn from one another. Both an evening and day group are now meeting in the agency's Espanola offices.

Come Join us!

The Last Thursday of Every Month
5pm - 7pm
404 Hunter Street, Espanola

AND recently added:

The Second Wednesday of Every Month
10am - Noon
404 Hunter St., Espanola

 

Food and Childcare Provided

The program will:

Provide grandparents acess to local 
and national resources

Act as advocates for grandparents through
public awareness

Arrange for informational speakers 
on various topics


For more information on how to get involved with the GRG program
in Española, telephone 
Delfinia Romero
(505) 753-4123


 

 

Report Issued By CYFD on Study of Growing Issues and Crises Faced by Grandparents

In response to the passage of Senate Joint Memorial 14 in last year's Legislative Session, a study was conducted by the State's Children Youth and Families Department incorporating input from the Human Services Department and the Public Education Department. The report addresses past legislative efforts, important demographics, and outlines promising practices and existing resources nationwide. To read the entire report, clink HERE.

Highlights from the report include the following:

Existing Resources: 

  • Legal Resources: Pegasus Legal Services operates a helpline for kinship caregivers, which can offer information and advice; legal assistance for low-income individuals representing themselves; and referrals for direct legal representation to those who need help or have questions concerning kindship guardianship of a child. Pegasus Legal Services website, click on this link
  • Financial Resources: The State's Human Services's Department, as the statutory Medicaid authority for the state, handles Medicare and Medicaid dollars, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). TANF is a child-only application. Provided the family has limited assets and the parent does not live in the home, the child may be eligible for TANF. Link here to Human Services Department website.

The Aging and Long-Term Services Department provides a range of supports for seniors and adults requiring long-term services. View their website here.

Donde hay gana, hay maña. 
(Where there is the desire there is the ability.)
-dicho one might hear from their abuela

Perfect love sometimes does not come until the first grandchild. ~Welsh Proverb

Location & Contact

In Espanola:
Dana Dean
Mobile Ph: 505-660-1505
Ph: 505-753-4123
Email Dana
By mail:
404 Hunter St.
Espanola, NM 87532

In Santa Fe:
Naomi Diamond
Ph: 703-864-5789
Email Naomi
or Santa Fe office
Ph 505.955.0410
By mail:
1911 Fifth St., Suite 100
Santa Fe, NM 87505


In Taos:
Candy Allen
Ph  505.470.4798
Email Candy
By mail:
1332 Gusdorf Rd., #A
Taos, NM 87571

Click for Map and Directions