Healthy Grandfamilies returns, seeking new participants


TAYLOR COUNTY—As things have begun to return to normal, Health Grandfamilies is excited to announce that they will once again be offering in-person session, and they are ready to accept new families into the mix.

Healthy Grandfamilies is funded by the United States Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture and led by West Virginia State University. Additionally, the program is a joint effort of Family Service of Marion and Harrison Counties and the Taylor County Board of Education.

The program offers a series of free discussion groups with a goal of providing information and resources to grandparents who have taken on the responsibility of raising one or more of their grandchildren.

Not only do families receive crucial information and great tips during each session, but they are also able to take advantage of three months of free follow-up services, including help locating community resources, confidential assistance in meeting the family’s needs and advocacy services, when needed.

During their sessions, families will discuss various topics including stress management, family relationships, parenting in the 21st Century, nutrition and how to navigate through the legal and school systems, as well as focusing on technology and social media, just to name a few.

The sessions will also focus on communication techniques, self-care and how to cope when a family member is struggling with addition. Other topics may include trauma-informed care and professional counseling.

“This program is designed to assist and educate grandparents in multiple areas of childhood development,” said Mendy Shaffer, Healthy Grandfamilies Coordinator. “Healthy Grandfamilies provides key information from local professionals specializing in each topic.”

Each session offers dinner, childcare and course materials free of charged for each participant.

“Once the session comes to an end, participants will receive a certificate of completion, a gift card and those three months of free follow-up services,” Shaffer revealed.

Participants in the program are able to take advantage of three months of free follow-up services, including information and referral services, linkage to community resources, confidential supportive services to meet the unique needs of each family situation and accessibility to the Grandfamily Financial Assistance Fund, which assists when no other resources are available.

Meetings are held on each Monday of the month, beginning on March 28 at the Blueville Church of the Nazarene. Dinner is served beginning at 5:30 p.m., followed by courses, with the sessions wrapping up at 8:00 p.m.

According to Shaffer, any grandparent raising one or more grandchild is encouraged to contact the program for assistance, support and advocacy.

For more information about Healthy Grandfamilies and how you can be a part of the program, please contact Shaffer by phone at 304-518-8015 or by emailing [email protected]2.wv.us.

“So, if you’re a grandparent trying to raise your grandchild in today’s world and are in need of assistance, please reach out to us! This free program may be just what you need,” imparted Shafffer.

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