December 15, 2017
West Virginia ranks 4th in the nation for the number of children who are raised by grandparents or other relatives – about 40,000 children under the age of 18. These grandparents and other kinship caregivers face a series of legal, financial, and personal challenges, including developing adequate custody arrangements with parents, accessing healthcare and educational opportunities for children, and managing finances with the unexpected burden of feeding and clothing quickly-growing children. With the help of two attorneys in Clarksburg and Elkins funded by fellowship grants through the West Virginia Fund for Law in the Public Interest, Legal Aid is developing a system of support in north-central West Virginia for these vulnerable families.
Both attorneys are developing informational resources and toolkits for families on topics ranging from custody and guardianship to public benefits to college financial aid. They are also training community partners on the legal issues that these families face, educating these partners and the public on the role Legal Aid of West Virginia can play in this conversation, and providing legal advice and representation for grandparents and kinship caregivers.
To apply for services, call 1-866-255-4370 or visit www.lawv.com/gethelp.