Friday, September 21, 2012

Group supports grandparent-parents

Library to host informational meeting next week

Express Staff Writer

The College of Southern Idaho and the Hailey Public Library are sponsoring an informational meeting next week on the challenges facing grandparents raising their grandkids—and the resources available for those in the increasingly common situation.

Idaho Department of Health and Welfare navigators Deb Lattin and Sarah Brown will speak to the group, called the Hailey Area Grandparents/Relatives as Parents Support Group 

The women will explain how to access Health and Welfare Services that might be available to grandparents who are acting as parents, as well as other resources that could help.

Shawna Wasko, from the College of Southern Idaho Office on Aging, will describe what participating in a support group can do for grandparents or relatives who are faced with the challenge of raising a family member’s children.

“We weren’t aware of this need until there was an article this spring stating that there are 130 families with grandparents as parents in Blaine County,” said LeAnn Gelskey, the library’s executive director. “That figure just blew me away. I had no idea there was such a need here.”

Gelskey said that part of the role of libraries is to meet the needs of the community it serves. The library will work with the Blaine County School District to reach out to those in need of this support. 

According to the College of Southern Idaho, the group will offer ongoing classes, discussion and peer support for its members. The meeting will also help grandparents learn how to run a local support group, including how to raise awareness and hold community events and outreach.

According to the 2010 Idaho Census, there are 22,962 children living in grandparent-headed households—5.4 percent of all children in the state—and 6,325 children live in households headed by a relative other than a parent or grandparent.

The meeting will be held on Thursday, Sept. 27, from 1-2:30 p.m. at the Hailey Public Library. Grandparents and relatives as parents are encouraged to stop by, share stories and learn how to support each other, Gelskey said in a press release.

Kate Wutz:



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