Kinship Care Program

A program for grandparents raising grandchildren.

When grandparents take in their grandchildren they are often faced with obstacles to parenting their grandchildren such as providing food, clothing and shelter, help with social service agencies, and various needed counseling services. Grandparents encounter these challenges as they provide care for their grandchildren, resulting in increased risk for depression, stress, changes in health, and financial difficulties.

In an effort to confront the growing trend of grandparents raising their grandchildren the Senior Services Center provides the following Kinship Care Group activities:

Care Receiver Supervision: Supervision for care receivers while Kinship Caregivers participate in caregiver activities. This service is provided once monthly so that the caregivers may participate in a “Just Us” support group meeting. Three to ten care receivers will receive watchful oversight by paid childcare providers, volunteers, or program staff.

Support Groups: The Kinship Care Program hosts one monthly “Just Us” support group meeting exclusive to the grandparents. The grandparents openly discuss issues/problems they are experiencing and also the progress made within each of their families. From the “Just Us” meeting, it gives the Kinship Care Coordinator the opportunity to observe the concerns of the group and better meet their needs.

Kids Night: One Thursday per month, the Center hosts a “Kids Night.” At this session the grandchildren are in charge of the meeting. The Kinship Care Program Coordinator is the facilitator who guides the children verbally with their issues.

Training: Training sessions are provided one Thursday evening per month and conducted in a group session for the purpose of skill building through instruction for family caregivers and/or professional caregivers. Past training sessions have included Rockdale Medical Center, Rockdale Animal Control, the Food Bank, Project Hope, DFCS, the Cooperative Extension Service, Rockdale Emergency Relief, the Rockdale Fire Department, the Rockdale County Sheriff’s Office, and several other local agencies.

Material Aid/Child Safety: Payments are made to or on behalf of relative caregivers raising children for assistance with child care, after school care, summer camp scholarships, school supplies, food, and clothing. Retail store gift cards can be obtained to purchase items including food, clothing, and school supplies for the care receiver.

Meetings are held at the Olivia Haydel Senior Center every other Thursday at 5:00 p.m. For more information about the Kinship Care Program, please call Georgia Oxford at 770-278-7230 or email Cynthia Clark.