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Grandfamily Conference Provides Resources to Caregivers

The Divine Holiness Outreach Center in Caruthersville was the site of the Kinship Care: Grandparents & Other Caregivers Raising Children conference in November.

See Also: More Grandparents Raising Grandkids

The event was free and open to the public and attracted more than 40 individuals. A complimentary lunch, provided by Families Support Project-PIN and Divine Holiness Outreach, was served and on-site recreational day care for children was available.

Grandfamily conferences, such as this is one excellent resource for caregivers of children. Not only are there workshops, but presenters share information about community, state and federal resources that are available.

“Grandparents and the grandchildren they are raising need support now more than ever,” said Diane Hall, AARP Missouri associate state director for Community Operations and conference keynote speaker. “There are many joys for grandparents raising grandchildren, but there are also significant challenges that range from financial to emotional.”

Educational seminars commenced at 9:45 a.m. with a presentation by Jim Medlock, therapist for the Family Counseling Center in Kennett, titled “Trends in Risky Behavior Children.” Other speakers during the day were Mary Gosche, human development specialist, who addressed “Body Image & Eating Disorders,” and Lew Polivick, Southern Missouri Legal Services director, who provided information on “Legal Issues” affecting grandparents and other caregivers of children.
The conference was sponsored by AARP Missouri, Area Agency on Aging, Bank Starr, Caregiver Volunteers, Divine Holiness Outreach, Families Support Project-PIN, OAKS Nutrition Center, Pemiscot County family Support & Children’s Division, RSVP, and the University of Missouri Extension.

AARP Missouri volunteers in each Congressional District are meeting to discuss ways in which to expand the programming for “grandfamilies” in 2012. Other than holding conferences, AARP volunteers are looking to expand outreach efforts into schools, working with the faith-based community, collaborating with civic and social organizations and government entities.

Visit the AARP Missouri website frequently to learn more about grandfamily activities and events that are being planned around Missouri.

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