The statistics are sobering. According to the US Census Bureau, 164,423 children in Georgia live in grandparent-headed households and more than 600 of these grandparents who are raising their grandchildren live in Fayette County.
Often these grandparents lack information about the range of support services, benefits and policies they need to fulfill their caregiving role. When grandparents take on the responsibility of raising their grandchildren they are often faced with obstacles to parenting their grandchildren such as providing food, clothing, 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.
To confront the issues surrounding this concerning trend, Fayette Senior Services, Inc. and FACTOR, a local advocacy agent for families and children, have established Grandparents Raising Grandchildren, a support group designed to better meet the needs of these special caregivers.
The collaborative effort between the two not-for-profit agencies, with support from the Atlanta Regional Commission, provides a forum where caregivers can openly discuss issues and problems they are experiencing or share the progress made within each of their families. Grandparents who are parenting their grandchildren can also receive assistance and information to address their legal, financial, education, health and support challenges.
Under the leadership of Betty Davis, LSMW, the group meets the second and fourth Thursday of each month from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. beginning February 28 at Fayette Senior Services’ new life enrichment center located at 4 Center Drive in Fayetteville. For more information about Grandparents Raising Grandchildren contact Betty Davis at 770-487-9802 or firstname.lastname@example.org or Connie Gouge at 770-460-9471 or email@example.com.