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Old 07-02-2007, 02:44 PM
16 posts, read 72,083 times
Reputation: 15


My husband and I have been raising our 3 yr old twin grandchildren for almost a year. It looks like we will probably be raising them. They are great kids and we love them to pieces, tho, it's not exactly what we planned. I do feel blessed that we have them and wouldn't have them living any where else under the circumstances.

We've been talking about retiring to the Harrison/Berryville area, for about 5 years now, and buy a few acres and have a couple of horses and maybe a cow or two.

Ok, no time to retire now , but we would like to move sooner, so that we can raise the kids in a small town. We live in Phoenix, AZ right now, but we were both raised in small towns. We would still like to get the small acreage & a couple of horses too; oops guess we'll need a couple of ponies too!

We need to find out if AR has any kind of programs to help grandparents who are raising grandchildren. AZ has some wonderful programs. We found most of them through the Council on Aging. They set us up and directed us through all the steps, including the legal steps for guardianship.

Here in AZ we receive some $$ for the kids monthly for expenses, they pay daycare, and the kids are on ACCHS (medical & dental). At Christmas we got gift cards for each of them. Does anyone know if AR has anything like this? Will we have to go to court again in AR to get guardianship again, or will AZ's court orders stand up there?

Any help would be greatly appreciated!
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Old 07-02-2007, 07:17 PM
Location: The Great State of Arkansas
5,981 posts, read 16,322,751 times
Reputation: 7582
Other than declaring them as dependants on your state income tax, I'm not aware of anything special...although I know the state has EXCELLENT resources for special kids (I have a nephew who is autistic).

There is ArKids insurance but I'm not sure if there is an income limit on that.

I would think the AZ court order would stand - legal guardianship should be honored.

You might find your cost of living difference between AZ and AR to be enough to offset any government subsidies you are receiving at this time. There is a child care tax credit. Here's the link to the Arkansas income tax information - hope this helps.

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Old 07-02-2007, 08:25 PM
19 posts, read 91,564 times
Reputation: 37
There's a "Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Support and Education Group" serving the Harrison/Berryville area. The contact person is Tina Ward, email tward@northark.edu. She should be able to answer your questions.
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Old 07-02-2007, 08:34 PM
8 posts, read 37,199 times
Reputation: 14
The AARP in Bella Vista is very active...
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Old 07-02-2007, 09:00 PM
16 posts, read 72,083 times
Reputation: 15
Thank you to all of you that replied. I will check out the places you mentioned.
My mind is set to make the move; I just have to get my heart set. We just built & moved into our home here in AZ 2 yrs ago and thought we would be here a few years. Things don't always work out the way you plan.
My husband lived in Berryville & Eureka Springs for awhile way back when before we met, and has a couple of cousins that live in the Berryville/Harrison area. I visited there once about 3 yrs ago. It's very pretty, but so different from AZ. Everything here is wide open (no trees). I grew up in Ohio, but it's been 30 yrs or more since I lived there.
Thanks again!
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Old 07-04-2007, 01:07 PM
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
136 posts, read 568,220 times
Reputation: 69
I'd recommend that you contact the local public mental health service for the communities you are interested in. This information should be available on-line, or you could look under mental health or social services in the telephone directory. These agencies always know all about all the local resources available to families, including State programs. Kids First is an Arkansas State program of note. If you do call the local mental health service, don't expect the receptionists to answer your questions; they won't know and are always overburdaned at the window and on the phone. Ask to speak to a counselor who works with kids, and expect to have to leave a message for a call back. I hope this helps.
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