On Saturday, March 18, 2017, Meridian Baptist Church in El Cajon hosted the 4th annual Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Resource Symposium in partnership with YMCA Kinship, 2-1-1 San Diego and the County of San Diego. This year’s theme was It Takes a Village. Kinship caregivers face many challenges raising young relatives. Oftentimes, these caregivers have changed their plans to love and support the children in their care. These yearly resource fairs bring resources, information and support to relative caregivers around the County, and bring families together that may find understanding and companionship in one another.
This year’s Symposium brought 105 caregivers and 84 children from around the region to learn about available resources and support groups. Caregivers in attendance had the opportunity to visit 24 resource tables, including County Eligibility Staff and Child Welfare Services Protective Service Workers for information on individual cases, focus on Individual Education Plans, child development, YMCA resources, and a 2-1-1 San Diego tutorial.
Penny Randazzo, a grandparent who is raising a grandchild and who had been raised by her grandparent, started off the program sharing her inspiring story on how she overcame adversity and what helped her on her journey. She was followed by keynote speaker, Michael A. Jones, who utilized his 18-years’ experience as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker to address issues that may arise in a non-traditional family and how to build trust, deal with difficult situations and accept help into the family.