Grandparent Connection

Glynn County Grandparents (or relative caregiver) responsible for under 18 grandchildren in 2017: 2,421 69.9%of relative caregivers are 60+ Nationally, 1 in 3 adoptions are now by a relative. The incidence of children adopted from foster care by relative caregivers has increased 31% since 2011.Grandparent Connection LogoAbout Grandparent Connection: There are 2,500 or more families in Glynn County in which the primary caregivers for the children are their grandparents.  For grandparents, raising children for the second time can be very challenging.  It is an adjustment for the grandparents as well as the children and Grandparent Connection provides help to make the situation easier for all involved. The Grandparent Connection guides grandparents in raising children by helping to bridge generational gaps, meet the child’s physical and emotional needs, and locate financial and healthcare assistance. It is not limited to grandparents and is also available to help relative, or kinship, caregivers. Grandparent Connection advocates for these families through the school system and helps grandparents to find resources they might not be aware of that can be beneficial to their family.

Grandparent Connection teaches voluntary classes to grandparents for 8 weeks each quarter. Average annual attendance: 57 46 legal kinship relationships created in 2016, required for school registration, doctors visits and more. Monthly grandparent support groups with 28-30 adults and 40 grandchildren in attendance. Childcare provided.

Parenting Classes: The Grandparent Connection, in collaboration with the Boys and Girls Club of Southeast Georgia, provides parenting classes for grandparents at local Boys and Girls Club facilities.  The curriculum, “Parenting the Second Time Around”, is designed specifically for “grandfamilies.”  These classes are designed to help grandparents understand the issues facing children today and help them identify their grandchildren’s emotional needs as well as their physical needs.  The curriculum is divided into 8 modules addressing family dynamics, current methods to effectively discipline children, the legal concerns of relatives rising children, advocacy and connection with community programs. The Boys and Girls Club staff provides supervised programs for the grandchildren while the grandparents are in class.  Upon competition of the classes, grandparents are encouraged to continue to support one another in the monthly peer support group meetings. the classes are offered a different Boys and Girls Club sites throughout the year.

Back-to-school event with supplies for 70 children. Over 188 referrals covering needs from birth certificates and immunization records to food and childcare assistance. 65 children in 2017 received summer camp scholarships.

Support Groups: The Grandparent Connection holds monthly peer support group meetings on the third Tuesday of the month at the Terrell Thomas Boys and Girls Club Center in Brunswick.  The group provides input as to the topics discuss at the peer support meetings. The Grandparent Connection works closely with the Health Department, Police, the County Extension Office, Legal and Financial Advisors, the YWCA, School Systems, and the Glynn Co. Recreation Department to provide grandparents with the vital information they need in raising their grandchildren.  These groups give presentations and answer questions regarding any aspect of raising a child, including:

  • Obtaining help for the children through their school
  • Qualifying for Government Health Care
  • Immunizations
  • Custody and Adoption Issues

349 grandchildren received free After Camp Tutoring for 4 weeks during the summer. Grandchildren may feel abandoned by their parent(s) and the grandparent(s) may feel anger, sadness and sorrow toward their own child. Resolve Project is a 4-week therapeutic, interventional program with a licensed social worker, discreetly designed to help the families with the greatest struggles. Attended by 59 committed grandparents and grandchildren.

Benefits of the support groups have been invaluable to the participating grandparents.  The accepting environment and opportunity to connect with people who are experiencing the same things helps grandparents, and children, to know they are not alone. Members offer help and support to each other in many ways.  They are able to help each other with things such as childcare, transportation, and advice.  These families get together periodically and have picnics, Easter egg hunts, trips to local water parks, and Family Days at the YWCA.  Through donations Grandparent Connection is able to host an Giving Tree and a Back to School party.

160 attended the 6th Annual Grandparent Connection Spaghetti Dinner hosted by the Rotary Club of Brunswick in 2017. GPC arranged breakout sessions for grandparents with: pro bono legal advice; pro bono Glynn County school guidance; health and wellness advice and check up; childcare for infants and toddlers, plus age appropriate arts and crafts. Expecting in February 2018: 200 Number of grandchildren officially participating in Grandparent Connection programs referred back to DFACS: 0

Grandparent Connection has an open door policy and is always available to help grandparents or relative caregivers with dealing with the many issues involved with raising children. The office is located in the same building as Coastal Coalition. Also Margaret Gant is available by phone: 912-421-9259 or email: [email protected]

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Click to view or download a PDF of the Grandparent Connection Infographic.

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