A Generation of Heroin Orphans
Experts point to the heroin and opioid epidemic over the last decade for the rising number of children orphaned and/or essentially abandoned by their parents.
According to a CNN report, 2.7 million grandparents and other relatives are raising grandchildren. Another 430,000 are in foster care, according to the 2015 Census. Exact figures connecting the rise in heroin use with the increase in children being cared for by someone other than a parent are hard to pin down.
Anecdotally, school administrators say they have seen more and more grandparents or other relatives seeking social services and counseling for children whose parents can no longer care for them as a direct result of heroin or opioid addiction.
According to Kentucky Youth Advocates, the state has the highest rate of "kinship care" in the country. An estimated 60,000 children there live with a grandparent or blood relative. Another 8,200 are in foster care.
Photo: via CNN
Video: via CNN