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Rebranded ‘Kids n Kin’ Group Offers Support for Caregivers Raising Children in Clarion County
CLARION CO., Pa. (EYT) – Clarion County’s Promise has updated and rebranded their former “Grandparents Raising Grandchildren” group to more clearly welcome any caregivers raising related children and are welcoming newcomers at their upcoming Annual Kick-off Family Picnic on September 10.
(Photo courtesy of Clarion County’s Promise)
Clarion County’s Promise, a local community affiliate of the national organization America’s Promise: The Alliance for Youth, has sponsored the “Grandparents Raising Grandchildren” group since the fall of 2007.
The group, which meets on the second Monday of each month from September through May, updated their name to “Kids n Kin” this year to highlight the fact that they welcome not only grandparents raising grandchildren, but also other caregivers raising related children.
“I think (the group) was established when we discovered a need for support for grandparents and relatives raising related children,” Clarion County Promise Director Janet Shreckengost.
According to Shreckengost, around the time Grandparents Raising Grandchildren was first formed, Clarion County Promise workers noticed a distinct increase in grandparents and other family members who were raising children rather than the children’s biological parents.
“It may have leveled off a bit in the last few years, but a few years ago there was definitely a drastic increase,” Shreckengost said.
Some of the grandparents and other caregivers found themselves raising young children in a completely different environment, with completely different challenges, than previous children they may have raised.
According to Parent Educator Cathy Simpson, who is in charge of the Kids n Kin group, the group offers a supportive environment as well as information, resources, classes, and activities.
“Some examples – we’ve had people from Penn State come in and do a cooking class and the Sheriff’s Department came in and did a presentation on computer safety and being aware of what kids are doing online. We discuss a lot of safety issues,” Simpson said.
“We also have a Christmas party and our annual picnic, as well as a game night that is just for fun,” she continued. “There’s a wealth of information and support available if someone is out there raising a grandchild or family member. It’s just a great place to come and get support.”
This year, the Kids n Kin Annual Kick-off Family Picnic is scheduled for 5:00 p.m. on Monday, September 10, at the Clarion County Park.
“Anyone can show up, but we ask that people register through Clarion County’s Promise, so we can get a head-count, and bring a covered dish to share,” Simpson said.
Individuals can register by calling Clarion County’s Promise at 814-223-1590.
Clarion County’s Promise, Inc. was originally known as Clarion County Family Net, which was established in 1992. The organization became a State Health Improvement Plan (SHIP) partner in 2002 and received PA Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) funding to open a central office for the organization in 2003.
The organization was then incorporated as a non-profit in 2003. Since then, they have found funding through a number of grants and have created outreach and education programs as well as other resources to serve children and families throughout Clarion County.
To learn more about Clarion County’s Promise and the services they offer, visit their website at www.clarioncountyspromise.org.
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