In honor of Grandparents Day observance, state praises grandparents
Aging offers services to support grandparents providing a stable
environment for their grandchildren
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[September 08, 2012]
SPRINGFIELD -- Illinois
Department on Aging Director John K. Holton, Ph.D., gave praise for
special grandparents in honor of the Grandparents Day observance on
Sunday. Holton was referring to grandparents who are raising their
grandchildren or other relatives.
"On this Grandparents Day
weekend, I want to say an extra thank-you to grandparents taking on
another round of parenthood. There are more than 200,000 children in
Illinois who live in grandparent-headed homes, as more grandparents
are serving as 'primary caregivers.' And I want let you know there's
help with the physical, emotional and financial stresses that
accompany raising another child," Holton said.
A grandparent who is a primary caregiver lives with and is
responsible for most of the basic needs of their grandchildren, ages
18 and younger. In Illinois, it's estimated that more than 100,000
grandparents have stepped up to be the primary caregivers for their
grandchildren when the parents are unable to.
The decision by a grandparent to raise their grandchild can be a
difficult one whatever the circumstances. And for those with limited
resources, an additional round of parenting can pose further stress
on the grandparent.
The Department on Aging has a program to support grandparents
providing grandchildren with a stable environment. The Grandparents
Raising Grandchildren program helps with efforts to locate, assist
and promote awareness of older caregivers, as well as other
relatives, who are currently raising their family's children.
Created in 1996, the program offers numerous services that may help
during difficult times. Grandparents Raising Grandchildren provides
referral services to local resources, such as support groups and
legal assistance. In some cases the program provides emergency
financial assistance for such needs as utility bills, medications,
food and clothing.
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The Department on Aging awards Grandparents Raising Grandchildren
grants to nonprofit organizations to provide referral services.
Grants support local resources such as legal assistance to secure
guardianship, establish custody and backup plans when the
grandparents are no longer able to provide care; therapeutic help
for children who have lost a parent or significant caregiver through
death, divorce or abandonment; advocacy and mentoring; counseling;
and respite care.
During this fiscal year (2013), $300,000 in grants will be
awarded to support groups and fund initiatives addressing the needs
of grandparents who are raising their grandchildren, (and kinship
families) in Illinois. The amount is up from the $242,000 awarded in
For more information about Grandparents Raising Grandchildren,
including a list of agencies offering services, visit
www.state.il.us/aging, call 800-252-8966 or hearing-impaired can
Department on Aging file received from
Illinois Office of
Communication and Information]