Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Group Hopes to Raise Awareness

VINEYARD HAVEN, MA. (October 27, 2015) – Grandparents who find themselves raising their grandchildren don’t have to go it alone. Martha’s Vineyard Community Services Family Center in collaboration with the Island Wide Youth Collaborative is co-hosting a Grandparents Raising Grandchildren (GRG), led by experts in the field Kerry Bickford and Rick Bickford, LICSW.

Information about trends and issues facing grandparents raising grandchildren are shared over coffee and discussion. The group takes place the second Saturday of every month from 10:00-11:30am at the MV Family Center located at 35 Greenwood Ave, Vineyard Haven.

Over the last 30 years, the number of grandparents raising children in the United States has increased dramatically. According to the U.S. census, 7 million grandparents had grandchildren younger than 18 living with them in 2010. While more and more grandparents across the nation are caring for their grandchildren, it is also the case locally. According to the Commission on the Status of Grandparents Raising Grandchildren, data from 2009-2013 show that 117,848 grandparents living in Massachusetts are raising their grandchildren, and 29% are responsible for their grandchildren’s basic needs.

“Grandparents are increasingly involved in the lives of their grandchildren, and the challenges facing grandparents helping to raise their grandchildren can be daunting,” said Marney Toole, MV Family Center Coordinator. “This is why we have designed this special group to reach out and see who might need support and discuss how we can meet those needs on the Island.”

Pre-registration for this group is required for childcare. Please call 508 687-9182.