Who Cares:
A National Count of Foster Homes and Families
Eugene Vickerson and his grandchildren Jakari and Amore, shown in a 2016 file photo, pray together before eating breakfast. Georgia has increased its efforts to place children with grandparents or other relatives. Photo: HYOSUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM

This Life with Gracie: Is Georgia’s foster care system really in crisis?

One of the best things about being a grandparent, I hear, is you get to spoil the grandchildren, then send them home.

Eugene Vickerson didn’t have that choice. For more than a decade, he was like millions of other grandparents across the country. He was his grandchildren’s parent.

The proportion of children being brought up by grandparents, siblings or other more distant relatives, in fact, has risen dramatically over the past decade. In 2005, 2.5 million children nationally were living with grandparents who were responsible for their care. By 2015, that number had risen to 2.9 million.

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