September 2022 Newsletter

The “Grandparents Raising Grandchildren” issue – Grandparents play a key role in raising children. Stepping up to care for the kids full-time can be overwhelming but there are numerous resources to help.

This issue opens with When Is Grandparents Day 2022? Everything To Know, followed by Grandparents Raising Grandchildren, and concludes with Raising Grandchildren: Support.

We are here to help you and your family with your legal needs. Please call 505-881-2566 to schedule an appointment. Our receptionist is in the office to take your call Monday through Thursday 8:00 am to 5:30 pm, and Friday 8:00 am to noon.

When Are Grandparents Day 2022? Everything To Know

By Kait Hanson, posted on news.yahoo.com, August 3, 2022

Mark the calendar — Grandparents Day is coming! The holiday, designed to celebrate the connections we share with older generations, is commemorated on the first Sunday after Labor Day each year.

Grandparents Day falls on September 11, 2022.

When is Grandparents Day?

In 1978, the United States Congress passed legislation proclaiming the first Sunday after Labor Day as National Grandparents Day, said Donna Butts, the executive director of Generations United, an organization that focuses on intergenerational strategies. President Jimmy Carter signed the proclamation that began the observation.

“It was a little known holiday until 2012, when Generations United began spearheading an annual campaign to encourage all generations to ‘Do Something Grand’ and engage with another generation on Grandparents Day,” Butts told TODAY Parents.

Grandparents Day is not a federal holiday.

What is Grandparents Day?

Grandparents Day is a time to celebrate and to serve. "It’s a day when we stop to honor grandparents and grand-friends for their contributions to our families, neighborhoods and communities," Butts said. "It’s also a time to remind people of all ages they can do something grand with another or for another generation. People at all ages and stages of life have value and something valuable to contribute to making our world a better place.

Why do we celebrate Grandparents Day?

The official proclamation of Grandparents Day states that the holiday is used “to honor grandparents, to give grandparents an opportunity to show love for their children’s children, and to help children become aware of the strength, information, and guidance older people can offer.”

How to celebrate Grandparents Day

Butts recommends making the day more than a time to remember to send a card.

"Do something grand with or on behalf of another generation," she said.

This can include a variety of activities, such as:

  • A community service project
  • Sharing a meal together
  • Exploring your neighborhood

"It can also be as easy as posting a picture of yourself with your grandparent, grandchild or grand-friend on social media," Butts said.

National Grandparents Day

Butts told TODAY that Grandparents Day is a good time to reach out to someone of another generation who may feel lonely and make their day a little brighter.

"The last couple of years have been tough on people of all ages as we’ve been forced to isolate from each other," she said. "Doing something grand doesn’t have to be big, it’s the little things that add up and make a difference in all of our lives."

Grandparents Raising Grandchildren

By Amy Gover, posted on www.aarp.org

If you are just starting to care for a grandchild, these are the basic things you need to know.

If you are raising a grandchild or another relative’s child, you are not alone. Millions of grandparents and other relatives are raising children.

The Guide for GrandFamilies can help you find your way with tips, tools and resources to the services and support you need to take care of yourself and your family.

GETTING STARTED

The needs of children can seem overwhelming, especially if you are unexpectedly thrust into the role of being their primary caregiver. First, focus on the basic needs, such as finding a safe place for the child to sleep; providing him with food, clothing, and any medication he might need; and getting the right kind of equipment, such as a stroller, car seat and crib. If he’s older, get as much information as you can about his school and other activities he might be involved in.

What documents do I need?

Make a binder or folder where you keep all of these important papers so you can easily find them when you need them. You should have:

  • Birth certificates, death certificates (if your grandchild’s parent is deceased), marriage records or divorce decrees for their parents
  • Social Security cards (or at least the numbers) for the children
  • Medical and dental records
  • Power of Attorney, custody, guardianship, adoption or other legal papers
  • Consent forms signed by parents for medical care and education
  • School papers, such as report cards, evaluations, registration, etc.
  • Proof of your grandchild’s income and assets (child support payments, trust fund, etc.)
  • Proof of your income and assets (if you apply for public benefits, you’ll need these)
  • Citizenship papers for you or for your grandchildren
  • Military papers for you or their parents

Who do I need to talk to?

Talk with the key people in your grandchildren's lives, such as teachers, pediatricians, school social workers, and any lawyers or child welfare professionals who have been involved with your grandchild. These are some questions you may want to ask:

  • What do I need to know about my grandchild's care and support?
  • Do you have any resource materials to help me raise my grandchild?
  • Do you have any classes or online training that will help me?
  • What services do you offer for my grandchild?
  • Is there any money to help me with the unplanned expenses of raising my grandchild?
  • What are the schedules I need to know about (for health care, school work, legal deadlines)?
  • Who else should I talk to who can help me and/or my grandchild?

What phone numbers do I need?

You should also make a phone list of all the local people and agencies you will work with as you raise your grandchild. Keep this list in your notebook or folder, and post a copy near your phone. Include:

  • Emergency numbers (911, poison control, etc.)
  • Grandparent support groups and resource centers
  • Family members and friends who can help
  • School, child care or preschool
  • Doctors
  • Dentist
  • Counselors, social workers, therapists
  • Babysitters or respite care
  • Before/After school programs
  • Youth activity programs (YMCA, YWCA, Boys and Girls Clubs, Scouts, mentoring programs etc.)
  • Community organizations such as community centers and faith-based organizations
  • Children’s services or child welfare office
  • Area Agency on Aging

How can I keep track of everything?

Just do one thing at a time – and keep good notes about who you talk to and what they say. You may need to go back to your notes when you are seeking help for your grandchildren. Having good, accurate notes will also help you track your progress. Good notes are very helpful when it comes to legal issues.

Get a notebook or a binder and label the cover clearly with the date of the first entry in the notebook. When that notebook is full, mark the date of the last note on the cover as well. Every time you talk to someone about your grandchild, write down:

  • The date
  • The name of the person
  • The person’s title and/or relationship to your grandchild (i.e. teacher, case worker, parent, etc.)
  • The person’s contact information (phone number, address, email address, etc.)
  • The general topic you talked about (school, illness, money, legal, mental health etc.)
  • Specific notes about your conversation
  • Next steps or “to do” list for follow up after the conversation

Raising Grandchildren: Support

Post by Amy Gover on www.aarp.org

Raising grandchildren can be a tremendous challenge. Grandparent caregivers need to develop a support system to help them with the many tasks at hand. It's also important for grandparents to take good care of themselves so they can stay mentally and physically healthy enough to do the job

One way to make the task easier is to connect with other grandparents in the same situation. There are many grandparent support groups located all over the country. Find one in your area by searching our Grandparent Support Locator or your state’s GrandFacts fact sheet at www.grandfactsheets.org.

Many relative caregivers connect with others with others via the internet in online groups, such as our Raising Grandchildren group at www.aarp.org/online-community.

If you are unable to find a group in your area, you might consider starting one yourself. Ask a local agency to sponsor your support group and help you find community resources and speakers. Try your Area Agency on Aging, child welfare office, county extension service, faith-based organization or other human services agency for help getting a group started.

In the meantime, here are answers to your questions about finding support:

How can I get other people to help me out?

As you take on the task of caring for grandchildren, your friends and family will probably want to help. But they may not be sure of what they can do. It's up to you to:

  • Ask for help. Make a list of small and large ways family and friends can support you. Asking for help is a sign of strength, not weakness. It shows that you are going to do your best in raising your grandchild and you know what it will take to get that done.
  • Have a family conference or meeting of close and extended family members. Discuss how your life, your grandchild's life and other family members' lives will change.
  • Try to divide up tasks and responsibilities for other areas of your life, such as caring for older parents, so you can have the time and energy for raising children again. A small amount of planning can save you some big headaches later.
  • Talk with your friends about how your social life will change. Let them know you'd still like to see them, but you might need help with babysitting.

How do I find support services in my neighborhood?

You probably will be able to find services and support for you and/or your grandchildren in your community. Start by checking out these resources:

  • Schools. Talk to the social worker at your grandchild's school about what kind of help might be available
  • Children's Services, Children and Families or Child Welfare Office. Call your town or county government offices to find out what kind of help you may be eligible for
  • Faith-based organizations (religious organizations often have programs to help families even if they are not members of their faith)
  • Community Centers
  • YMCA and YWCA
  • County Extension Offices
  • Boys and Girls Clubs, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, and other youth groups
  • Mentoring programs, like Big Brothers and Big Sisters
  • Local colleges and universities (for example, they may have free legal clinics in their law schools, or might have student who can work with your grandchildren)

Can I find someone to watch my grandkids?

Many communities have programs that will provide care for your grandchild while you do things like go to a doctor, go shopping, go to court or simply get some much-needed rest.

Check with your Area Agency on Aging or child welfare office to find out if there are relative caregiver respite programs in your state. You should also:

  • Locate your state's GrandFacts fact sheet at www.grandfactsheets.org to find out what resources are available.
  • Check out any "Morning Out" programs or drop-in child-care centers that may be available in your community.
  • Ask about before- and after-school programs at your grandchild’s school
  • Line up babysitters, such as local teenagers or your friends/family
  • Trade care with other grandparent caregivers — you watch their kids one week and they watch yours the next week
  • Check out mentoring programs for your grandchildren, such as the Big Brothers/Big Sisters program, after-school programs and Boys and Girls Clubs.

How can I get help if I'm feeling overwhelmed?

When you are raising grandchildren, you may feel overcome with emotions. You may feel grief, sadness, and a sense of loss and disappointment that your child wasn't able to raise his/her children. Or you may feel angry or resentful about having to take on this role. If your feelings are getting in the way of your day-to-day life, it can be helpful to talk to a mental health professional. Ask friends, family or your doctor for names of a therapist, counselor or social worker who does counseling. Or call your local department of mental health for a referral. Remember, by taking care of your own mental health needs you will be better able to care for your grandchildren.

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