Many grandparents raising kids locked out of state aid

The number of children being raised by grandparents has exploded across New Mexico, nearly doubling to more than 55,000 — 10 percent of all the state’s children — since 1990. Today, grandparents in this state are caring for their grandchildren at astounding rates — more than three times the national average in some opioid-ravaged counties. And each child a grandparent takes in saves the state up to $25,000 a year in foster care costs. But many of those grandparents have found themselves denied assistance, often even when they meet eligibility requirements.

Emilia’s story: Family, tradition, addiction

I discovered a core of human goodness in troubled places, and it struck me as one of the great ironies that such darkness persists amidst such a culture of deep-rooted familial strength. I see that paradox in Emilia, a young woman who shares with me a strong connection to extended family in rural New Mexico.