The Children’s Center in collaboration with Northern Human Services, and the GWRSD Homelink Program will offer a support group which would address issues facing grandparents who are raising their grandchildren. It will meet monthly from 6 to 7:30 PM at The Children’s Center (180 South Main St.) beginning Tuesday, May 16, and will be facilitated by a therapist and counselor. Free child care will be provided as well as light refreshments.

The primary focus will be on peer support and networking with other grandparents in similar situations. The group will also feature speakers who will facilitate discussions relevant to common needs and concerns such as health care and insurance, financial assistance, legal information and guardianship issues, respite services, counseling services, developmental and behavioral problems, and affordable child care, to name a few.
Grandparents and extended family members are often the ones to step in when parents are absent or unable to raise their children. In recent years we have seen that grandparents are increasingly being called upon to serve as parents to their grandchildren. Nationwide approximately 2.7 million grandparents are raising grandchildren, up 7 per cent from 2009. It is estimated that 7 to 8 million children are living in homes headed by grandparents or other family members. This includes homes where the parent may or may not be present. In situations where grandparents are the sole caregivers the numbers vary between 1 and 3 million. Some of the reasons for grandparents assuming parental roles may include problems related to the biological parent such as substance abuse, physical or mental illness/disability, incarceration, divorce/separation, joblessness, homelessness, military deployment, teenage pregnancy, pursuit of education, child abuse/neglect, abandonment, or death. These children will often display developmental, physical, behavioral, academic and/or emotional problems due to past experiences with their parents. Additionally, the grandparents raising their grandchildren may face many challenges and difficult tasks. While the prospect of taking on this role can bring many rewards, bringing a grandchild into your home may require a number of both expected and unexpected adjustments.

Studies have shown that grandparents who cope well with the stress of raising grandchildren are those who seek out support. There are so many stressors and needs, including a range of emotions and mixed feelings on the part of both grandparents and grandchildren, the need to take care of themselves and the importance of creating a stable environment with a routine, rules and honest communication. By learning their options they give themselves choices. With the right support and guidance towards access to resources in the community grandparents can be successful in making a real difference in the lives of their grandchildren.

To register or for further information please contact Pat Titus at The Children’s Center in Wolfeboro at 569-1027 or email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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