Many children are fortunate to be cared for by relatives such as grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and even older siblings.
In Ohio, nearly 100,000 grandparents are currently raising their grandchildren because their own parents are unable or unavailable to care for them.
Many individuals step up to provide temporary and sometimes permanent care to raise their kin. Research reveals that children raised in extended families have better outcomes, such as more regular school attendance, better grades, and less behavioral problems than children in foster care.
While the children thrive in kinship care, there are many challenges faced by those caring for them. The Area Agency on Aging District 7 (AAA7) offers the Caregiver Support Program for relatives raising children, such as grandparents. The program can provide assistance and support in finding resources, providing educational resources including a class for caregivers, and in some circumstances, making small purchases to assist in the care.
Currently, the Caregiver Support Program at AAA7 is reaching out to kinship/grandparent caregivers through a survey to learn more about needs and how the agency can help provide better support. The survey can be accessed on the agency’s website located at www.aaa7.org and will be active on the website through September.
If you are a kinship/grandparent caregiver or know someone who is, please take a few moments to complete the survey and let us know how we can help.
For more information concerning the survey or the Caregiver Support Program, call the AAA7’s Caregiver Support Program at 1-800-582-7277, extension 215 or e-mail [email protected]
Nina R. Keller is the executive director of the Area Agency on Aging District 7, which includes Highland County.