Wolf admin recognizes family caregiver month | Five for the Weekend
In Pennsylvania, approximately 260,000 children live in households headed by grandparents or other relatives
Secretary Jen Smith with the Pennsylvania departments of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP) joined Human Services (DHS) and Aging (PDA) to highlight available resources for grandparents who are raising grandchildren and discuss the need for additional supports for these grandparents because of the overdose crisis (Commonwealth Media Service photo).
Happy weekend, all.
State officials gathered at the Capitol this week to recognize November as National Family Caregiver Month.
The month, Wolf administration officials said, “offers an opportunity to raise awareness of caregiving issues, educate communities, and increase support for” family caregivers.
Pennsylvania Department of Drugs and Alcohol Secretary Jennifer Smith recognized the effect the opioid epidemic has had on families across the commonwealth, including those where grandparents are raising their grandchildren due to overdose deaths.
“We know that the overdose epidemic and substance use disorder has impacted Pennsylvanians of all ages, races, and demographics, touching nearly every family. For some, it has resulted in grandparents assuming the role of parents once again due to their child participating in a substance use treatment program, incarceration, or worst-case scenario, loss of life to an overdose,” Smith said. “Having the right resources available to help both grandparents and grandchildren alike who are in this situation is vitally important.”
PA KinConnector, a resource hotline for caregivers across the commonwealth, helps support the nearly 83,000 grandparents in the commonwealth who are caring for their grandchildren, state officials said.
Denise Shanahan, a York-county resident who is a grandmother raising her grandchildren after losing her daughter to a fentanyl overdose in 2015, said the available state resources helped support her and her granddaughter.
“My life was turned upside down the day I lost my daughter, and not only did I lose a child, but I also now had two innocent children that I was responsible for,” Shanahan said. “To say the least, I was in no way prepared, financially or emotionally. I am encouraged by the programs offered by the Wolf Administration and urge the creation and support of additional ways to help families like mine.”
In 2016, there were more than seven million grandparents living with their grandchildren, and over two million were responsible for their grandchildren’s basic needs, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
In Pennsylvania, approximately 260,000 children live in households headed by grandparents or other relatives.
As always, the top five stories from this week are below.
Monday proved true what Melissa Cerrato said she told voters on thousands of doorsteps during her campaign for a Pennsylvania House seat in Montgomery County: Every vote counts.
Cerrato, the Democratic candidate challenging Republican incumbent state Rep. Todd Stevens in the 151st Legislative District, held on to a 14-vote lead nearly a week after the election Nov. 8.
Control of the Pennsylvania House will come down to three narrow races for legislative districts in the Philadelphia suburbs.
In Bucks County, Democrat Mark Moffa held a two-vote lead over Republican Joe Hogan in the 142nd House District and Democrat Brian Munroe had a 406-vote lead over Republican Todd Polinchock in the 144th District, according to unofficial results Thursday.
All eight Republican incumbents up for re-election won their races in newly drawn districts, and voters elected five new GOP senators to the upper chamber, according to unofficial results from the Department of State.
Advocates for marijuana liberalization saw mixed results as legalization ballot measures were counted Tuesday, with Maryland and Missouri voters approving recreational use for adults but Arkansas, South Dakota and North Dakota rejecting the proposal.
Maryland and Missouri will bring the list of states where recreational marijuana use is legal to 21. Maryland’s referendum passed easily, with nearly two-thirds of voters in favor. In more conservative Missouri, the measure received 53 percent.
The Pennsylvania House voted 107- 85 on Wednesday to send articles of impeachment to the state Senate, alleging that Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner engaged in misconduct in office and obstructed a House committee investigation.
Senate Majority Leader Kim Ward, R-Westmoreland, who was elected interim president pro tempore on Tuesday, told reporters that the upper chamber would hold additional session days for an impeachment trial, adding that the Senate can’t ignore articles of impeachment from the House. The Senate’s last scheduled session day was Tuesday.
And that’s the week. We’ll see you back here next week.
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