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Chidlren’s Home Society supporting seniors raising grandchildren

(Source: NerdWallet)
Published: Mar. 10, 2021 at 2:43 PM EST
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PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (WTAP) - The Children’s Home Society of Parkersburg of West Virginia is continuing with a virtual version of Healthy Grandfamilies, an educational series offered through West Virginia State University that provides information and resources to seniors providing the majority of childcare to their grandchildren.

The program consists of a series of free classes that were offered in person before the COVID-19 pandemic, with a virtual version of the program being offered likely by the end of the month. The discussions are led by professionals and paraprofessionals with relevant experience. They offer information on a range of topics, including parenting in the 21st Century, family relationships, communication, technology and social media, nutrition, legal issues, health literacy, self-care, stress management, and negotiating the public school system.

Recently, the discussions have also begun to address substance abuse and challenges with addiction.

The classes are held weekly for 10 weeks and, upon completion, participants receive a certificate of completion, as well as three months of additional follow-up services with a social worker. In addition, the in-person courses offer participants an opportunity to connect with other families undergoing similar experiences.

The primary goal of the program is to provide education and resources to grandparents about issues that may not have posed challenges when they were raising their own children.

“The reason some of the topics are so helpful to ‘grandfamilies’ is because, when they were raising their kids, they likely didn’t have to deal with social media issues. There are ‘grandfamilies’ that might have legal issues if they’re dealing with custody of their grandchildren,” said Leah LaPrade, volunteer and community support social worker for the Children’s Home Society. “The benefit of the program is that there are no risks and it’s free. It’s a time commitment, but many grandparents tend to find it’s worth the couple of hours they spend each week in the sessions to learn more and to build relationships and social support,” she added.

Those who would like to register for the classes or request additional information can do so by contacting LaPrade at (304) 485-0650 or laprade@childhswv.org.

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