With close to 2,500 grandfamilies in Glynn County, our Grandparent Connection program is expanding to embrace more grandfamilies and to provide more services for grandparents, their grandchildren, and other relatives as the opioid epidemic continues to tear families apart. With your support, we can help to heal the hurt and trauma that children suffer and assist the grandparents in the new and changing demands of parenting again. Close to 70% of grandparents/relative caregivers are 60+ years, often on a fixed income with health problems, yet they open their hearts and homes forever to their grandchildren. This often means several siblings to care for in every way: physically, emotionally, financially and intellectually.
Imagine if your mother or grandmother had adopted an additional child, or multiple children later in life?
How do we help grandfamilies and how can you?
We guide grandparents through the required legal issues surrounding successful guardianship, custody, and adoption. Without a legal relationship to the grandchild, grandparents and other kinship cannot register a child for school, obtain medical treatment and vaccinations, and more. At times, very well-meaning grandparents cannot afford the unexpected legal expenses that will enable them to properly care for their grandchildren.
We teach quarterly Parenting the Second Time Around classes to all families who join Grandparent Connection. In fact, we require that all families who receive services from us attend classes for 8 weeks and graduate from these classes. Our parenting classes teach grandfamilies how to navigate their families’ unique dynamics and today’s parenting challenges from rebuilding the family, to the school system and appropriate discipline.
Grandparent Connection provides childcare and a healthy snack while grandparents, or relative caregivers are attending our required classes.
Children who have been subjected to trauma, neglect and abuse, or who have been abandoned by parents, need empathetic and professional understanding and guidance to address the pain inflicted by their parents’ circumstances.
Too many children, of all ages, fall significantly behind in school when neglectful parents do not ensure school attendance, or homework completion. Many children don’t receive the attention to reading and literacy that children in healthy households receive and are behind before they even begin to school. At Grandparent Connection, we have provided summer tutoring, but we too have learned! The demand for tutoring has increased both in the number of children who need tutoring and also for on-going, year-round tutoring.
Our grandfamilies need each other. The monthly Grandparent Connection support groups allow us to engage professionals on relevant topics. Grandparents empathize with one another and share their coping skills, while grandchildren benefit from the reminder that they are not the only ones being raised by grandparents instead of their parents.
More families and more services need more staff.