It is estimated that 4.9 million children under the age of 18 currently live in a household headed by their grandparents. For nearly one quarter of these children, neither parent is present and the grandparent has assumed the role of primary caregiver.
There are a variety of reasons why grandparents become the primary caregivers for their grandchildren. The most common are substance abuse, mental illness, incarceration, death, military deployment, child abuse and abandonment.
Grandparents who are raising their grandchildren represent all socioeconomic levels and ethnic groups. These caregivers may face a variety of challenges such as legal, financial, physical, social, emotional or housing.
It is important for these grandparents to realize that they are not alone! There are many of these extraordinary individuals who deserve much support and praise.
The Bourne Council on Aging does provide support to grandparents who are raising their grandchildren with information and referral, a resource library, educational and intergenerational programs and a Support group which meets 10-11:30 on the fourth Monday of the month.
This program is open to all grandparent caregivers and has participants from Bourne as well as other Cape towns.
For more information contact Lois Carr, program facilitator at 508-759-0653.
For state and federal information visit the website at www.massgrg.com.