Program geared at helping grandparents kicks off in Taylor County


TAYLOR COUNTY—Research shows that one in 14 children is the product of a grand family home. Grandparents may often find themselves struggling with raising a child in the 21st century. There is now a new program in Taylor County that will help grandparents with that task.

The Taylor County Board of Education, United Way of Marion and Taylor Counties and Family Services have teamed up for a new program.

Healthy Grandfamilies is a free initiative led by West Virginia State University to provide information and resources to grandparents who are raising one or more grandchildren.

According to healthygrandfamilies.com/,  the program is funded by the United States Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

The program is designed as a series of nine discussion sessions and follow-up services.

Each session provides valuable resources along with childcare for attendees and refreshments. Upon completion of the program, participants will receive a certificate of completion, a gift card and three months of follow-up services with a Licensed Social Worker.

During the sessions, 10 topics will be discussed over the course of eight workshops, ranging from stress management to healthy eating and Internet safety.

Some of the topics included: Parenting in the 21st Century, Family Relationships: A new dynamic, Communication: When no one talks and everyone texts, Technology & Social Media: The dangers, pitfalls & plusses, Nutrition: Balancing diets when everyone is “on the go”, Legal Issues & Documents: Getting past all the legal issues to learn “who is really in charge”, Health Literacy & Self-Care: How to take care of your own health issues in this new family dynamic.

Grandparents will also learn how to manage their stress and the stress of their grandchildren, Negotiating the Public-School System: Learn about Parent Teacher Organizations (PTO) and how to help their grandchildren with homework.

Each session is held at the Blueville Church of the Nazarene every Wednesday at 6:00 p.m., until November 13.

The next session will be held this evening Wednesday, October 9.

During the session Sondra Cain and Amy Vandergrift with the Taylor County Board of Education will be discussing how to navigate the school system, technology and social media.

According to social worker and case manager Candace Golaszewski, the program offers key information to grandparents on how to raise a child in the 21st century.

In addition, food and refreshments are provided Golaszewski shared that they are currently looking for volunteers to help provide childcare during the sessions.

Over the next six weeks, a different member from the community will be present to offer information about topics.

Golaszewski shared that they have held two sessions so far and they have five families attend and during the sessions the families bonded.

In addition, after completing the sessions there will be follow-up services offered. Upon completing the session series, participants are provided three months of free follow-up services with a Licensed Social Worker with more than six years of experience working with children and families, including grandfamilies.

Some of the other services include help locating community resources, confidential assistance in meeting the unique needs of your family situation and advocacy services as needed.

For additional information about the program or how to sign-up contact Golaszewski at 304-265-4750 ext. 113.

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