My name is Sharon McBride, and I am the 57 year old relative caregiver to my four year old granddaughter Abbie, and her half-sister, Layla, 6. In March of 2012 their mother began using drugs, and I became concerned for the girls’ welfare. I called child protective services, and the girls were removed from their mother’s home. I realized as their grandmother, I could provide the most nurturing and comfortable home for the girls.
The girls came to me with a paper sack, literally. I ended up spending more than $2,000 to properly dress and take care of them. Layla is not my biological grandchild, so she immediately received a clothing allowance and state foster care benefits. Abbie, who is my biological grandchild, received no financial help for one year. In June 2013, things started to improve when Abbie’s CalWORKs was issued and we received a transportation reimbursement for the visits to their parents, but we still struggle to cover the basics: food, rent and clothing.
If I had adequate support, I wouldn’t have to worry about meeting their most basic needs and I could provide activities like gymnastics or ballet.