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Recession prompts more multigenerational homes

While most parents in Arkansas don't imagine living with their own parents when they are adults, there are an increasing number of grandparents helping to raise children. This is due, in part, to the economic recession. Whether it is a grandparent choosing to live with his or her adult child to save money or the reverse, grandparents are becoming much more common caregivers in Arkansas.

In some cases, the grandparents may even have custody of the grandchildren. Typically, a grandparent would have custody if a child's parents are unfit to care for him or her. This could be temporary with the expectation that one or both of the parents will regain custody in time. It could also be permanent if the parents' rights to the child were terminated. 

According to a study by the Pew Research Center, African-American grandmothers were the most likely to be their grandchildren's primary caregivers, although both African-American and Hispanic grandmothers were more likely to live with their grandchildren than white grandmothers.

For those single parents who still have custody over their children, living with their parents may also make it easier to work longer hours and earn more money for the family. If a grandparent is watching the children, single mothers or fathers may be able to better provide for their families.

According to the study, one in 10 children lives with their grandparents, or 7.7 million children in total. Unfortunately, 20 percent of grandparents whose grandchildren live with them live below the poverty line, too.

Source: Huffington Post, "Study Says More and More Grandparents Are Raising Their Grandkids," Nov. 6, 2013

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