In San Diego County, there are over 24,000 grandparents raising grandchildren and hundreds more relative caregivers. Often times, these caregivers have changed their plans for retirement and relaxation to step in to care for a relative. The support of these grandparents, aunts, uncles and other family members is a crucial element in creating a loving environment for a child to grow and thrive.
As part of the Live Well San Diego vision for healthy, safe and thriving communities, the annual Grandparents Raising Grandchildren resource event in East County provides the opportunity for families to connect with one another, access public benefits, discover local agencies and be a part of a supportive community that will assist them in raising their child or children. On March 19, 2016, the third annual East Region Grandparents Raising Grandchildren resource event was held in conjunction with Live Well San Diego recognized partner, Meridian Baptist Church. The resource fair hosted 72 relative caregivers with 67 young children under their care. Free childcare for caregivers was available throughout the day, with outdoor and indoor games and activities for the children to enjoy.
For the grandparents and relative caregivers, the day consisted of four informational speakers on raising grandchildren, guardianship and adoption, self-care and drug abuse. The keynote speech given by Michael Jones, LCSW, addressed four major issues in parenting grandchildren: managing grief and loss, life stage development, child trauma, and the family story.
County staff served as volunteers for the event, providing support and answering questions regarding public benefits and Child Welfare Services cases. Local organizations dedicated to improving their community from all over San Diego County provided educational information, supportive services, resources that aid in raising a kinship child and much more. The event provided a venue for individuals to meet others who share the same needs, and find support when placed in a situation of raising a grandchild or relative.
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