Sen. Heitkamp Hosts Discussion With Families Affected By Opioids

Many grandparents are raising grandchildren because their biological parents aren't able to

FARGO, N.D. — Sen. Heidi Heitkamp hosted a discussion to hear from grandparents who are taking care of grandchildren because their biological parents aren’t able to.

The opioid epidemic, suicides, and other issues have left many parents unable to take care for their children.

Heitkamp introduced a bill that would help caregivers deal with the challenges of caring for children, especially if they’ve been traumatized.

Many at the discussion talked about the need for more counseling and trauma awareness in schools.

“Grandparents have always cared for grandkids, but I think with some of the growing attention to the opioid crisis, we have more and more grandparents that are having to step up and get involved with this and bringing more awareness to it… the numbers are growing and therefore awareness and more need,” Nancy McKenzie, executive director of PATH ND, said.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 2.5 million children live with caregivers that aren’t their biological parents.

Categories: Local News, North Dakota News, Politics / Elections