Carbon County officials want to help grandparents raising their grandchildren.
That's why the Carbon County Child and Family Collaborative, which is made up of a number of area agencies, schools and organizations, has created a support group for Carbon County grandparents acting as the main caregiver for their grandchildren.
Jeanne Miller, co-chairperson of the collaborative, said the meeting, slated for 6:30 p.m. Feb. 25, at the Lehigh Carbon Community College Jim Thorpe campus, is open to all grandparents who took on the role as parent for their grandchildren.
The goal of the group is to share personal experiences and learn about a variety of topics, including financial challenges, setting up boundaries between parent and the custodial grandparent, addiction in the family, communication, healthy discipline practices, everyday challenges.
The trend of grandparents acting in the parental role has been on the rise since the 1990s.
According to AARP's 2010 GrandFacts State Fact Sheet, 239,819 children under the age of 18 are living in homes where the householders are grandparents or other relatives. This represents 8.6 percent of children in Pennsylvania.
Of that total, 6.9 percent live with grandparents; while the remaining 1.7 percent live with other relatives.
Due to this growing trend, 68 percent of these grandparents raising children are under the age of 60; and 19 percent are living at 100 percent poverty level.
LCCC's Jim Thorpe campus is located at 1100 Center St., inside the old Jim Thorpe High School. People are asked to use the old high school entrance on Center Street.