News // July 16, 2014

Networking Nanas: A Great Start to Grandparents and Caregivers Networking Group in South Region

With the success of the South Region Grandparents Raising Grandchildren (GRG) event only a few weeks past, grandparents and caregivers built on the momentum by attending the launch of the South Region Grandparents & Caregivers Networking Group held on July 12, 2014, The  launch, which was a direct result of the June 21, 2014 GRG event, brought together grandparents and caregivers raising children other than their own who are experiencing difficulties navigating new requirements, expectations and resources. Eleven grandparents and caregivers along with seven of the children in their care attended the event.

The goal of the networking group is to bring these individuals together in a safe space to share their experiences - both challenges and victories. The meeting took place at the Bonita-Sunnyside Library where staff worked in partnership with the County’s Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA), South Region Intergenerational Coordinator and South Region Health Promotion team.

With approximately 5,325 grandparents raising grandchildren living in San Diego County's South Region, it is important to identify resources for these grandparents and caregivers and create opportunities for sharing information.

At this first meeting, Bonita-Sunnyside Library staff welcomed attendees and shared information about upcoming events. The networking group discussed survey results from the GRG event networking session where priorities such as respite, childcare, the need for advice, navigating the system, affordable housing, and the establishment of an English-speaking support group were identified. Library and HHSA South Region staff led children in attendance to a safe space where they enjoyed story time, arts and crafts activities and mini-explorer tours.

Attendees expressed gratitude for the practical advice they received from veteran caregivers, such as Connie Ruffier. Ruffier raised three grandchildren and now serves as a mentor to other grandparents and caregivers who are experiencing the same challenges.

The next South Region Grandparents & Caregivers Networking Group will take place on Saturday, August 9, 2014, from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at the Bonita-Sunnyside Library, located at 4375 Bonita Rd, Bonita, CA 91902. There will be activities in place for the children while grandparents and caregivers are meeting.

For more information, contact Tina Emmerick or visit 2-1-1- San Diego for a directory of local resources for grandparents and caregivers.