Standing for grandparents and other third parties has been modified and expanded by the enactment of SB 844 on May 4, 2018 (now Act 21). Effective in 60 days, important provisions apply whether or not custody proceedings commenced before, on or after the effective date. HB 2133, still pending, would create the Kinship Caregiver Navigation Program, a tool for grandparents and others not formally in the Pa. child welfare system. HB 1539 permits a court to appoint a temporary guardian when a parent enters drug or alcohol treatment.
The Commonwealth estimates that there are 82,000 grandparents acting as sole caregivers for roughly 89,000 grandchildren. This is a growing phenomenon exacerbated by the opioid abuse epidemic.
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