Grandparents Raising Children In North Carolina


Family units come in varying forms, and not all children live with their parents. While some children are put in the foster system, a child or children sometimes reside with another relative besides a parent. AARP, the Child Welfare League of America and other groups have developed materials to address grandparents who find themselves raising their grandchildren. The GrandFacts sheets for North Carolina provide information about public benefits and educational assistance along with data about children and grandparents in the state.

The data for the North Carolina GrandFacts sheet was taken from the 2010 census and the U.S. Census Bureau 2005-2009 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates. In total, the data showed that 10.2 percent or 232,986 children under 18 are being raised in homes where a grandparent or other relative owns the house. 7.8 percent of children in North Carolina live with grandparent householders, and 2.4 percent or 54,577 live with another relative who is a householder.

90,093 children live in grandparent households where grandparents are responsible for the children while 179,391 live in a home where a grandparent is the householder. 89,622 grandparent householders raise grandchildren, and 38,941 children or 45 percent live with no parent in the home. Most of these grandparents are under the age of 60, and 23 percent of them live at or below the poverty level.

With a large number of children living with grandparents and some grandparents living at the poverty level while raising grandchildren, it becomes important for grandparents to know their rights and what resources are available to them. Grandparents living with and raising grandchildren may wish to contact an attorney when wondering about the child custody process or what rights parents have versus the rights of grandparents raising a child.