Are you a grandparent who is helping to raise your grandkids? Are your golden years filled with Play Do and soccer games? You are not alone.
Did you know there is an estimated 64,000 grandparent-headed families in the Metroplex? 7.6% of all children are being raised in a home with a grandparent. It is a growing phenomenon across all levels of socio-economic situations. More and more of us gray-haired wonders have the responsibility of rearing the up and coming generation. Sure, it's a joy, but it can also be a burden.
The Dallas Public Library is a resource center for seniors in this unique situation. Established in 2004 as part of a sponsored program through AARP and New York Life, and supported by the Area Agency on Aging for Dallas County, the City of Dallas, Five Star Kids and other fine community aware organizations, its KinCare Network was a worthwhile organization. However, the website has not been updated recently and the phone numbers and email addresses are defunct. There are still, however, on the KinCare website good links to resources specifically for grandparents and other kin raising children.
Even so, whether you need legal help, financial assistance, or just a friendly ear, the local library may be your best bet. They have reading materials, a warm line for advice, and access to community organizations designed to get grandparents in touch with each other and professionals in the Metroplex. Many of the Library branches have a donated Grandparent's chair where kids and seniors can cuddle up together and read a good book, and mid-day programs for the kiddos so grandpa and grandma can have a bit of a breather.