Special Topics: Grandparents Raising Grandchildren

Support Groups

Meg Roodhouse, M.Ed., Family Support Specialist, Human Environmental Sciences, University of Missouri Extension

Are you caring for a relative or grandchild? Feeling overwhelmed or stressed? Support Groups can help provide respite from your day-to-day life. Support groups also allow you to meet others who are in similar situations. They can be rejuvenating, educational and encouraging.

Benefit to caregiver:
As stated above, caregivers can be strengthened through sharing information and resources, and knowing others with similar life circumstances. Support groups also provide the social opportunities to help alleviate the isolation often experienced by caregivers.

Benefit to children:
By cultivating a strong support network, grandparents will be better equipped to support their children’s development. The support group also becomes a community where the relative caregiver can turn to when difficult situations arise.

Benefit to community:
Healthy communities are made up of healthy families. Healthy families – no matter what the biological family ties are - depend on good parenting and well-cared-for children. Without these elements, communities can suffer. Forming support groups show relative caregivers that their families are an important part of the community.

ParentLink oversees the statewide GrandFamily efforts in Missouri and would gladly help locate a support group in your area or help you start a support group of your own. Please call for more information on support groups or for general information on caring for your relative children.