Publications » Heroin and Opioid Addiction Public Hearings

Archive


 

May 10, 2017 Public Hearing on the Heroin/Opioid Epidemic in Pennsylvania, State Capitol Building, Harrisburg, PA

The Center for Rural Pennsylvania held its 12th public hearing on the heroin/opioid epidemic in Pennsylvania on Wednesday, May 10 at the State Capitol Building in Harrisburg. Center Board Chairman Senator Gene Yaw welcomed board members and attendees to the hearing, which was hosted by the Center’s Board of Directors. The hearing focused on the legal, financial and personal issues that grandparents may encounter as they become the primary caregiver for grandchildren whose biological parents can no longer care for them because of a substance use disorder. The hearing was held from 9:30 am to 11:30 am.

Center Board Chairman Sen. Gene Yaw, second from right, joined by Center Director Barry Denk, Center Board Secretary Dr. Nancy Falvo, Board Member Dr. Michael Driscoll, and Board Treasurer Rep. Sid Michaels Kavulich, welcomed presenters and attendees to the public hearing.
Center Board Chairman Sen. Gene Yaw, second from right, joined by Center Director Barry Denk, Center Board Secretary Dr. Nancy Falvo, Board Member Dr. Michael Driscoll, and Board Treasurer Rep. Sid Michaels Kavulich, welcomed presenters and attendees to the public hearing.
Debbie Friday described her and her husband’s experiences with raising her 4 grandchildren: doing what needs to be done to keep the kids healthy - physically, mentally and emotionally.
Debbie Friday described her and her husband’s experiences with raising her 4 grandchildren: doing what needs to be done to keep the kids healthy - physically, mentally and emotionally.
Aaron Ludwig of Supinka & Supinka, PC., talked about the various statutes relating to custody and caregiver support.
Aaron Ludwig of Supinka & Supinka, PC., talked about the various statutes relating to custody and caregiver support.
Board Vice Chairman Garth Everett, Barry Denk, Sen. Yaw, Dr. Falvo, Dr. Driscoll and Rep. Kavulich.
Board Vice Chairman Garth Everett, Barry Denk, Sen. Yaw, Dr. Falvo, Dr. Driscoll and Rep. Kavulich.
Brian Bornman, executive director of Pennsylvania Children and Youth Administrators, talked about the impact of the heroin/opioid epidemic on the child welfare system and provided additional information on caregivers and the kinship care process.
Brian Bornman, executive director of Pennsylvania Children and Youth Administrators, talked about the impact of the heroin/opioid epidemic on the child welfare system and provided additional information on caregivers and the kinship care process.
Nina Williams-Mbengue, program director with the National Conference of State Legislatures, provided information on kinship care trends across the U.S. and federal and state legislation to support relative caregivers.
Nina Williams-Mbengue, program director with the National Conference of State Legislatures, provided information on kinship care trends across the U.S. and federal and state legislation to support relative caregivers.
At the close of the hearing, Sen. Yaw thanked all of the testifiers and attendees for their participation.
At the close of the hearing, Sen. Yaw thanked all of the testifiers and attendees for their participation.

 


 

May 8, 2017

MEDIA ADVISORY
Contact: Barry Denk, Director
The Center for Rural Pennsylvania
(717) 787-9555
denkb@rural.palegislature.us

PUBLIC HEARING: GRANDPARENTS RAISING GRANDCHILDREN AS A RESULT OF HEROIN, OPIOID EPIDEMIC

WHAT: The Center for Rural Pennsylvania will hold its 12th public hearing to solicit testimony on the heroin and opioid epidemic in Pennsylvania. State Senator Gene Yaw, chairman of the Center for Rural Pennsylvania’s Board of Directors, says this public hearing will focus on grandparents who are caring for grandchildren because their parents are unable to care for them because of heroin/opioid addiction. (Audio remarks from Sen. Yaw.) The hearing will be hosted by the Center’s Board of Directors.

WHO: Click here for a copy of the agenda.

The Center for Rural Pennsylvania Board of Directors
Senator Gene Yaw, Chairman
Representative Garth D. Everett, Vice Chairman
Representative Sid Michaels Kavulich, Treasurer
Dr. Nancy Falvo, Clarion University, Secretary
Dr. Livingston Alexander, University of Pittsburgh
Stephen M. Brame, Governor’s Representative
Dr. Michael Driscoll, Indiana University of Pennsylvania
Dr. Stephan J. Goetz, Northeast Regional Center for Rural Development
Dr. Timothy Kelsey, Pennsylvania State University

WHEN: Wednesday, May 10, 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m.

WHERE: Capitol Building, Room 8-EB East Wing, Harrisburg, PA (Map)

BACKGROUND: According to a 2016 report from Generations United, the rise in heroin and opioid use has led grandparents and other relatives to care for children. The report, The State of Grandfamilies in America: 2016, says that more relatives are raising children because the parents have died, are incarcerated, are using drugs, are in treatment or are otherwise unable to care for their children. Data from the U.S. Census Bureau show that, in 2015, about 88,700 grandparents in Pennsylvania were the primary caregivers for grandchildren living in the grandparents’ households. That’s a 10 percent increase since 2000, when about 80,400 grandparents statewide were the primary caregivers for grandchildren. In rural Pennsylvania, there was a roughly 28 percent increase in the number of grandparents who were considered primary caregivers over the 15-year period (19,789 in 2000 to 25,264 in 2015).   

Since 2014, the Center for Rural Pennsylvania has conducted 11 public hearings on the heroin epidemic to examine the crisis from all angles, including education and prevention, law enforcement and treatment. Senator Gene Yaw, Chairman of the Center’s Board of Directors, said the Center will continue to lead the way to educate policymakers, inform the public, and enhance current policies in Pennsylvania related to all aspects of the heroin/opioid epidemic.


 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 2, 2017

Center for Rural Pennsylvania to Hold Hearing on Grandparents Raising Grandchildren as a Result of Heroin, Opioid Epidemic

HARRISBURG – State Senator Gene Yaw, Chairman of the Center for Rural Pennsylvania, today announced that the Center, a bipartisan, bicameral research agency of the Pennsylvania General Assembly, will hold a public hearing to look at the challenges faced by Pennsylvania grandparents who are caring for their grandchildren because of the heroin and opioid epidemic.

The hearing will focus on the legal, financial and personal issues that grandparents may encounter as they become the primary caregiver for grandchildren whose biological parents can no longer care for them because of a substance use disorder. 

“For more than three years, we have listened to heart wrenching stories of families broken apart by addiction,” Sen. Yaw said.  “As one testifier noted, addiction causes a chain reaction, affecting the addict as well as family members, friends and coworkers.  Like other states, Pennsylvania is in the midst of the one of the worst public health crises of our generation and now, as addiction rates continue to climb, grandparents are on the front lines of the epidemic.  This hearing will examine ways that our state can make it easier and less burdensome for grandparents to assume the role of primary caregivers.”

According to a 2016 report from Generations United, a Washington, D.C.-based family research and advocacy group, the rise in heroin and opioid use has led grandparents and other relatives to care for children. The report, The State of Grandfamilies in America: 2016, says that more relatives are raising children because the parents have died, are incarcerated, are using drugs, are in treatment or are otherwise unable to care for their children.  Data from the U.S. Census Bureau show that, in 2015, about 88,700 grandparents in Pennsylvania were the primary caregivers for grandchildren living in the grandparents’ households. That’s a 10 percent increase since 2000, when about 80,400 grandparents statewide were the primary caregivers for grandchildren. In rural Pennsylvania, there was a roughly 28 percent increase in the number of grandparents who were considered primary caregivers over the 15-year period (19,789 in 2000 to 25,264 in 2015).  

The hearing, scheduled for Wednesday, May 10, 2017, will begin at 9:30AM in Room 8-EB at the State Capitol Building and will feature testimony from: Mrs. Debbie Friday, a grandparent caring for her grandchildren; Aaron F. Ludwig, Esq., of Supinka & Supinka, PC; Mr. Douglas Amsley, Executive Director of Franklin County Children and Youth Services; and Ms. Nina Williams-Mbengue, Program Director with the National Conference of State Legislatures.

The hearing will be streamed LIVE at www.senatorgeneyaw.com

###

CONTACT:
Barry Denk, Director
The Center for Rural Pennsylvania
(717) 787-9555