Healthy Grandfamilies is a free initiative led by West Virginia State University to provide information and resources to grandparents who are raising one or more grandchildren. The program is funded by the United States Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture. Designed as a series of nine discussion sessions and follow-up services, Healthy Grandfamilies is taught by an education professional with more than 40 years of experience who also happens to be the product of a grandfamily.

Each session provides valuable resources along with childcare for attendees and refreshments. Upon completion of the program, participants will receive a certificate of completion, a gift card and three months of follow-up services with a Licensed Social Worker.

Discussion Session Overview

• Parenting in the 21st Century
• Family Relationships: A new dynamic
• Communication: When no one talks and everyone texts
• Technology & Social Media: The dangers, pitfalls & plusses
• Nutrition: Balancing diets when everyone is “on the go”
• Legal Issues & Documents: Getting past all the legal issues to learn “who is really in charge”
• Health Literacy & Self-Care: How to take care of your own health issues in this new family dynamic
• Healthy Lifestyles & Stress Management: Learn how to manage your stress — and the stress of your grandchildren
• Negotiating the Public School System: Learn about Parent Teacher Organizations (PTO) and how to help your grandchildren with homework

Follow-Up Services

Upon completing the session series, participants are provided three months of free follow-up services with a Licensed Social Worker with more than six years of experience working with children and families, including grandfamilies. Services include:

• Help locating community resources
• Confidential assistance in meeting the unique needs of your family situation
• Advocacy services as needed

Healthy Grandfamilies is having a noticeable impact in West Virginia. Check out the In the News page to read more about the project, as well as this Impact Statement that discusses some of our results to date.