In observance of National
Grandparents Day, state recognizes grandparents raising
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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."
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,
or call 800-252-8966 or, for hearing-impaired, 888-206-1327.
Illinois Department on Aging file received from
Illinois Office of
Communication and Information]