WILKES-BARRE — Gov. Tom Wolf will visit the Wilkes-Barre Jewish Community Center today to talk about grand-families, or grandparents raising grandchildren as a result of the opioid crisis.
The governor will be joined by Department of Aging Secretary Teresa Osborne. The event is set to begin around 10:30 a.m. at the center at 60 S. River St.
The governor and secretary are expected to meet with grandparents who are raising their grandchildren. The governor’s opioid disaster declaration has allowed for multi-agency cooperation to attack the opioid epidemic from all sides and is helping grandparents in this situation get the support and services they need.
Wolf and Osborne will also tour the center and talk with JCC members.
Wolf has supported bipartisan state and federal proposals to aid grandparents who have assumed sole care-giving responsibilities for their grandchildren, especially those affected by the opioid epidemic.
The governor backed a package of legislative proposals in the state House of Representatives pushed by Rep. Eddie Day Pashinski, D-Wilkes-Barre, and Rep. Kathy Watson, R-Bucks County.
He also joined U.S. Senator Bob Casey, D-Scranton, in urging the U.S. House to pass his federal legislation — Supporting Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Act — which passed unanimously in the U.S. Senate.
“One of the worst effects of the opioid crisis is the damage the disease of addiction has done to so many families across Pennsylvania,” Wolf said recently. “Many grandparents are stepping up to take care of their grandchildren and we need to make sure they have our full support as caregivers and legal guardians of children, our most innocent bystanders to this awful epidemic.”
Wolf went on to say grandparents are making sacrifices to help their families and communities and they should be accessing all the resources available to assist them.
Reach Bill O’Boyle at 570-991-6118 or on Twitter @TLBillOBoyle.