Saturday, September 12, 2009
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In observance of National Grandparents Day, state recognizes grandparents raising grandchildren

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[September 12, 2009]  SPRINGFIELD -- In observance of Grandparents Day on Sunday, Illinois Department on Aging Director Charles D. Johnson applauds the efforts of grandparents who are raising grandchildren. As Johnson recognizes their sacrifice, he also reminds them about resources available to assist.

"It is no small deed for grandparents to take on the role of primary caregiver to their grandchildren, and these days we see more grandparents taking on that role for children whose parents are unable to do so," Johnson said. "For those with limited resources, we want let them know they are not alone and there is help. I want to thank these special grandparents for taking on another round of parenthood and assure them that we are doing more to help them provide a stable environment for their grandchildren."

The Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Program helps with efforts to locate, assist and promote awareness of older caregivers who are currently raising their family's children. Created in 1996, Grandparents Raising Grandchildren offers numerous services that may help during difficult times. The program provides financial assistance for emergency needs, utility bills, medications, food and clothing. The program also offers referral services to local resources, such as support groups and legal assistance.


The Illinois Department on Aging awards grants through the Grandparent Raising Grandchildren Program to not-for-profit organizations to establish support groups and fund initiatives addressing the needs of kinship families in Illinois. In fiscal 2009, 42 grants ranging from $500 to $26,000 were awarded, which totaled more than $348,000. Services provided by the grants included legal assistance, child care, emergency needs, case management, workshops, training and the establishment of support groups.

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The Department on Aging is currently reviewing the applications for fiscal 2010. Among the considerations, the department looks at geographic areas where the not-for-profit organization proposes to serve, the documented need for the service and how the organization plans to implement or continue a program.

Grandparents who are raising their grandchildren may also take advantage of supplemental services provided through the Illinois Family Caregiver Support Program, which include legal assistance, assistance with purchasing prescription drugs, transportation, school supplies and any other gap-filling services that attempt to address a short-term caregiver emergency.

For more information about programs the Illinois Department on Aging provides to grandparents and other relatives raising children, visit or call 800-252-8966 or, for hearing-impaired, 888-206-1327.

[Text from Illinois Department on Aging file received from the Illinois Office of Communication and Information]

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