All meetings are open to the public, no need to be involved with any agency, court, or particular situation. If you are raising any relative child (grandchild, niece, nephew, sibling, or other relative) please consider attending. There will be fellowship, relevant local speakers, and resources galore. This program is completely free!! The schedule is tentative and we are having some meetings with Zoom as we work to ensure everyone's safety.
Over 3 million children are being raised by relatives in America today. Children can be raised by relatives for a number of reasons including death of a parent, incarceration of a parent, incapacity of parents to care for a child, child protective services involvement, other safety concerns, or child abandonment. When relatives step in to raise a child who would otherwise become part of the foster care system, children are able to maintain their place in their families and often in their same communities and schools. Often times relative caregivers are grandparents that may be on a fixed income, in poor health, or have had other plans for how they would spend their retirement years, but find themselves raising their grandchildren and essentially becoming parents all over again. Any relative that becomes the primary caregiver for a child will have a lot of new responsibilities and changes in their lives. The goal of the Relative Caregiver Support Program is to provide resources, connections, support, and fellowship to those who are undertaking this very important role in a child's life. This program is open to all relative caregivers in our four county area: Walker, Catoosa, Chattooga, and Dade Counties. It is for Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles, or any other relative who is raising a related child. There are once per month group support meetings where group members can meet over a meal to support one another, vent, compare notes, obtain resources, and learn about things such as child nutrition, available financial assistance, budgeting, parenting skills, and more. There will be limited financial support available for items such as school supplies and sport registration fees to some participating group members. A schedule will be posted on this page and on our Facebook page as meetings and events are scheduled. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 256-630-7673 for more information or to sign up. The Program is completely free and some childcare is available during meetings. There are groups that meet in Rossville and Lafayette. Feel free to come to whichever meeting is more convenient for you.