Archived News | Return to News Center

Nov. 10, 2005

Monroe Conference to Focus on Grandparents Rearing their Grandchildren and Other Relatives

Brent Elrod from Generations United in Washington, DC, will provide an overview of Subsidized Guardianship during the opening session of the 2nd Annual Recycled Parenting Conference focusing on Grandparents Rearing their Grandchildren and other Kinship Caregivers. The conference, set for Thurs., Nov. 17 at the Holiday Inn-Holidome in Monroe, is designed to provide supports and assistance to parents who have assumed the responsibility of parenting the children of their relatives.

According to Linda Christmas, Project Administrator of ULM Family Connections/Family Matters, "Louisiana ranks fourth in the nation of the percentage of children being cared for by a grandparent or other relative. These specially formed families are in need of information, support, and assistance they don't always know how to access." The grandparents are struggling to make ends meet, and everyone, including the children, suffers from the anxiety and stress that the family experiences, Christmas said.

ULM Family Connections has joined forces with the Ouachita Council on Aging and the Association of Retired Persons of Louisiana to focus on the needs of these families. Local service providers, including the Monroe City FINS office, the Office of Family Support, the Office of Public Health, the Early Childhood Supports and Services Program (ECSS), the Monroe Housing Authority, and the Ouachita Parish School District, will provide brief overviews of services and supports that are available to grandparents and relatives who find themselves in these new family situations. ULM Professor Dr. Pamela Higgins-Saulsberry and Gerontology Endowed Fellow Dr. Bonnie Hatchett will both give keynote presentations during the conference. Pat Robertson from the State Grandparents Raising Grandchildren's Initiative in Baton Rouge will also give a few brief remarks about this important effort.

The cost to attend is $30, and scholarships are available for all grandparents and relatives who want to participate and need assistance. Lunch is included.

For more information on the Grandparents Raising Grandchildren and other Relatives Conference, contact Linda Christmas at ULM Family Connections at 318-340-0230 or 1-888-655-9564, or Fannie Holland at the Ouachita Council On Aging at 318-387-0535. In addition to these two collaborators, the cosponsors for the group include AARP LA, the Governor's Office on Elderly Affairs, and Generations United.

PLEASE NOTE: Some links and e-mail addresses in these archived news stories may no longer work, and some content may include events which are no longer relevent, or reference individuals and/or organizations no longer associated with ULM.