On November 15, 2014, the County of San Diego teamed up with YMCA Kinship Navigators, SAY San Diego’s Project Keep, and Mission Trails Regional Park to host an enrichment event for grandparents and kinship caregivers who reside in the Central and North Central regions of the county and the children in their care. At this event, families participated in a guided nature walk led by a Trail Guide who educated kinship caregivers and children on the flora and fauna, as well as the historical and cultural aspects of the park. After the walk, participants were shown real-life reptiles to enhance education and appreciation of San Diego's natural environment.
A family portrait was taken during the event and placed in a frame that the children and their kinship caregivers had the opportunity to decorate together. The pictures provided a chance for grandparents and other kinship caregivers to bond with the children as well as connect with each other. As participants socialized during lunch, each participant received a Health and Human Services Agency reusable bag filled with educational resources available in their community.
This family activity day enhanced social connections among children and their caregivers, strengthened family connections and increased support.
More than 21,000 grandparents in San Diego County have primary responsibility for meeting their grandchildren’s daily needs. As surrogate parents, they must re-learn and navigate a complex network of health, educational, and social services. To meet some of these needs, the County of San Diego’s Grandparents Raising Grandchildren (GRG) initiative, spearheads efforts to assists grandparents and other kinship caregivers to learn, meet others who share their same needs, and find support when raising a grandchild or other young family member.