Grandparents Raising Grandchildren
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Grandparents Raising Grandchildren

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You can learn more about approaches that involve grandparents raising grandchildren through these model programs:

Action for Boston Community Development

  • Organization’s Description: Action for Boston Community Development (ABCD) was incorporated in 1962, as a precursor to the national War on Poverty, and subsequently was designated Boston’s official anti-poverty agency.  Its mandate is to promote self-help for people and neighborhoods.  ABCD emphasizes the empowerment of low-income people and communities as the most effective means of promoting economic success.  Our service models focus on preventative rather than crisis management, and build on individual and community strengths.
     
  • Project Summary: The GRANDS Project is a self-sustaining, volunteer led, volunteer supported group model for grandparents raising grandchildren.  The goals of the project are to promote the physical and emotional well-being of grandparents who have taken on the responsibility of raising their grandchildren, and to enable grandparents to effectively support their grandchildren’s health, safety, and educational and social development.  The project’s components are core support groups, respite care, social enrichment, parenting education, income management, and health promotion.

Crestwood Children’s Center

  • Organization’s Description: Crestwood Children’s Center, an affiliate of Hillside Family of Agencies, is located in Rochester, New York, and provides mental health services to children (birth to 21 years of age) and their families through day treatment education, outpatient and residential treatment services, and child development and family support through the Family Resource Centers.  Treatment services include crisis intervention; individual, family, and group psychotherapy; diagnostic evaluation and assessment; and outreach and linkage to community services. 

    Family Resource Centers’ preventive and support services include:  center-based early childhood and parenting education, early intervention services for children with developmental delays, and home visiting to families focused on early childhood development.  Last year, Crestwood served over 2,600 families.
     
  • Project Summary: Skip Generations Program began in 1989 as an innovative, effective approach to supporting older adults caring for their grandchildren, and is operated as part of the community-based Family Resources Centers of Crestwood Children’s Center.  The program provides kinship caregivers with information, education, and support within their community to strengthen their ability to provide for the children in their care.  The volunteer mentor program, which recruits, trains, and supports older adults to provide home-visiting services to other kinship caregivers, is an integral part the program. 

Easter Seals of Oregon

  • Organization’s Description: For over 60 years, Easter Seals Oregon has provided services to individuals with autism, special needs, and other disabilities, as well as their families.  Easter Seals has grown from a small grassroots start-up into one of Oregon’s most respected nonprofits with service centers across the state.  Currently, Easter Seals offers comprehensive pediatric therapy, employment training and job placement, camping, recreation, and respite, and other special needs programs.  In 2007, Easter Seals of Oregon served almost 5,000 individuals and their families. 
     
  • Project Summary: The Money Management Program (MMP) model developed and coordinated nationally by the AARP Foundation has been helping people since 1981.  In 2007, Easter Seals joined forces with AARP and became the State Coordinating Agency for the Oregon Money Management Program. 

    The MMP provides a full range of money management assistance to low—income people including seniors and people with disabilities.  Services include financial education, bill payer, and representative payee services.  By addressing financial management needs, program participants increase their economic self-sufficiency, remain independent longer, are empowered to develop additional resources, and become more engaged in their communities.  The MMP is powered by volunteers, primarily consisting of older adults.

Families and Children Together

  • Organization’s Description: Families and Children Together (FACT) is a small, rural family-focused social service organization in Maine that was created by foster parents and social workers in 1993.  FACT includes the statewide Maine Kids-Kin support program for grandfamilies (extended family members stepping in to raise relatives’ children), Kindred Way residential home for young adults, treatment foster care, adoption services, and family visit programs. 

    FACT continues the philosophical and practical vision of its founding mothers and fathers.  We believe children with emotional and behavioral challenges learn healthy development and healing within a family structure.  FACT’s work is to support families and help them to find the best tools, resources, and approaches to helping their children.
     
  • Project Summary: FACT’s mission is to provide family focused programming to assist children and young and young people in managing emotional and behavioral challenges.  With this in mind, FACT provided the fertile soil for Maine’s Kids-Kin’s development, a program that carries out the mission through support to extended family members to strengthen their ability to support the children they love.  Maine Kids-Kin helps families build on their strengths and support networks so that more resources are available to them during the difficult times.  Our objectives are to help families to identify their strengths, articulate their needs, identify possible resources, and build confidence in their ability to manage the challenges they face. 

Fairhill Partners

  • Organization’s Description: Fairhill Partners is a unique, multi-tenant nonprofit campus focused on successful aging.  It delivers gap-filling successful aging programs and nurtures intergenerational relationships in a distinctive, one-of-a-kind community setting.  Fairhill Partners leases office, clinical, and activity space to 25+ organizations with missions and objectives that complement successful aging; together these organizations connect with over 20,000 people annually.  About 3,000 people annually are touched by or connected to one or more of Fairhill’s successful aging services. 
     
  • Project Summary: The organization’s mission of connecting people and organizations with successful aging opportunities naturally supports and engages family and kinship caregivers.  Fairhill’s kinship services program provides hundreds of older adult caregivers raising children with programs that provide and share information, education, referrals, peer support, respite, advocacy, and emergency assistance. 

    The School for Caregivers provides education, training, peer support, and information to improve lives of adult caregivers and loved ones.  Over 400 caregivers participate in one or more of the School for Caregivers educational opportunities, fairs, and support groups annually.  Fairhill also provides lifelong learning classes and events where family and kinship caregivers can learn and improve skills for self and care-recipient caregiving.  Fairhill Center recently changed its name to Fairhill Partners.

Knoxville-Knox County Community Action Committee

  • Organization’s Description: the Knoxville-Knox County Community Action Committee (CAC) was created in 1964 by a joint resolution of the city and county governments, as a public not-for-profit organization.  CAC has a mission of Helping People Help Themselves by promoting self-sufficiency and independent living through intervention, education, and empowerment.  The CAC Office on Aging (OOA) has, since its inception in 1976, assessed needs of older citizens and developed resources and services to meet those needs.  The OOA now administers more than18 programs to serve Knox County seniors. 
     
  • Project Summary: The Knoxville-Knox County Community Action Committee implemented the Grandparents as Parents Program in 2000 to address the needs of grandparent and relative caregiver families raising children whose parents were unable to care for them.  The Office on Aging’s program was one of the first in Tennessee to assist grandparent and relative caregivers with information, support, and recognition. 

    In 2007, the Grandparents as Parents Program created the Volunteer Advocacy Corps to utilize the capacity, interests, and skills of volunteers aged 55+.  Volunteers were trained in the knowledge and skills required to provide advocacy.  Volunteer advocates help grandparents and relative caregivers navigate the Knox County Juvenile Court process to obtain custody of at risk grandchildren.  They also provide mentoring and advocacy at Knox County Schools Individual Education Plan meetings for their special needs grandchildren.  Volunteers assist grandparents and relative caregivers to access other needed community services. 

Mather LifeWays

  • Organization’s Description: Mather LifeWays is comprised of three areas of service: senior residences, Community Initiatives, and the Institute on Aging.  MLW senior residences provide stimulating lifestyles with neighborhoods that offer a rich variety of cultural and social choices, and provide the option of continued care and memory support.  Community Initiatives focuses on making neighborhoods better places for older adults to live, work, learn, contribute, and play through initiatives such as Mather’s—More Than a Café. 

    The Institute on Aging is charged with identifying, implementing, and sharing best practices for wellness, workforce issues, memory care support, caregiver empowerment, and older adult enrichment.  Mather LifeWays employs over 450 employees, operates four senior living residences, and four community cafes throughout the Chicagoland region, serving more than 17,000 older adults.
     
  • Project Summary: GRANDFamilies Program of Chicago launched in 2003 and has served over 300 grandparents who have resumed active parenting roles in the Chicagoland area.  GFPC is a community-based resource and support group and provides a variety of services to help reduce the strain of grandparents raising grandchildren.  GRANDFamilies’ main goal is to serve the immediate needs of the grandparents by focusing on establishing support services, matching grandparents with available resources, providing technical assistance and creating personal empowerment programs to help grandparents “thrive, not just survive” as caregivers.  Along with serving nearly 1,000 families, the organization has established Empowerment Networks (grandparent support groups) in Chicago Public Schools, Area Agencies on Aging, and senior community centers.

New York City Department for the Aging

  • Organization’s Description: The New York City Department for the Aging (DFTA) is the largest area agency on aging in the United States, a municipal entity representing and addressing the public policy and service needs of elderly residents of New York City.  The Department’s mission is to foster the independence, safety, wellness, and quality of life of senior residents living in New York City. 

    DFTA’s budget includes federal, state, and city tax levy funding, most of which is contracted out to community based organizations that provide a range of aging services to community residents, including senior programs, home-delivered meals, case management, and home care, as well as transportation and caregiver services.  Among DFTA’s core functions are: aging services planning and coordination; contract management; aging services research and program evaluation; legislative advocacy; public information and education about senior services issues and resources; and training of community program staff.

     
  • Project Summary: DFTA operates the Grandparent Resource Center (GRC).  As a clearinghouse for information about the needs of grandparent and other relative caregivers GRC identifies service gaps and works with various agencies to promote services and supports for the increasing number of relatives serving as surrogate parents for children whose biological parents are unavailable.  GRC oversees 26 volunteer-run grandparent support groups throughout the city.  Additionally, DFTA’s Grandparent Resource Center provides outreach and education to grandparent caregivers through educational workshops, training of community and medical providers, centralized information and referral services, case assistance, and advocacy.

Senior Services

  • Organization’s Description: Senior Services is the most comprehensive non-profit agency serving older adults and their loved ones in Washington State. Established in 1967, we promote positive aging for thousands of seniors and their families each year through our integrated system of quality programs and senior centers. More than 3,000 volunteers, together with 250 employees, make our work possible and efficient.  The organization’s mission statement is to promote the emotional, social, and physical well being of older adults. 
     
  • Project Summary: Senior Services supports caregivers primarily through its Caregiver Outreach & Support and Kinship Care programs.  Caregiver Advocates provide broad support to families caring for frail elders as well as grandparents 60+ caring for children.  Kinship Navigators address the specific needs of kinship caregivers, those who care for a relative’s children, by providing information, advocacy, and referral. 

    Last year Caregiver Advocates served 1200 family caregivers in King County, the 12th largest county in the nation.  Present funding only supports one Kinship Navigator position in King County.  She (the Kinship Navigator) was able to assist approximately 500 of the estimated 18,000 to 30,000 kinship caregivers across the county, but demand for services far exceeds capacity.  The current project will build capacity by developing curricula to train volunteer Kinship Navigators and volunteer Caregiver Advocates.  By training volunteers to provide direct caregiver advocacy and navigation, we will serve more caregivers, reduce the waiting time for assistance, and strengthen our community base.

Supportive Older Women’s Network

  • Organization’s Description: The Supportive Older Women’s Network (SOWN) is an innovative nonprofit agency headquartered in Philadelphia, dedicated to helping women over the age of 60 cope with the complex issues associated with aging.  SOWN’s primary services establish a caring, stable, ongoing informal support networks which significantly enhances the ability of older women to live independently in the community. 

    SOWN’s services offer older women a forum to gain greater control over their lives, solve common problems, provide mutual support, learn about access and resources, and increase their ability to cope with an array of aging concerns.  SOWN has recognized the tremendous needs and challenges faced by this population and, in response, developed services specifically to address older women’s problems and improve their quality of life. 
     
  • Project Summary: SOWN’s grandparent program targets older relative caregivers who reside throughout Philadelphia and act as primary caregivers of their grandchildren.  The grandparent program is reaching families primarily in low income, at-risk communities.  Many of the grandchildren have special needs.  SOWN’s program helps grandmothers gain strength, advocate for the children n their care, and support one another to continue in this stressful yet essential role.  Support services include community based support groups, telephone support groups, computer training, one-on-one counseling, and educational parenting workshops at the GrandFamily Resource Center.