Below are resources for you as grandparents raising your grandchildren. We strongly encourage you to contact your county’s Coalition Coordinator for information about attending the Healthy Grandparents Program. The program consists of eight to ten free weekly sessions that include a meal for you and the children, childcare, as well as lots of information, resources and support that will assist you in raising your grandchildren. These resources below are in no way intended to take the place of the useful and vital information that you will receive from the Healthy Grandparents Program, but rather are here to provide basic information that might be of benefit to you before or after you complete the sessions.
For specific resources within your county and local communities click here
You are not alone in this! A staggering number of grandparents just like you are raising their grandchildren in West Virginia and throughout the nation. This website provides information to you about the statistics of grandfamilies in WV as well as some general resources. Grandfamilies State Fact Sheet.org
Grandfamilies.org is a website designed to provide you with information to assist you in raising your grandchildren. Search laws, resources, publications about adoption, education, financial assistance, foster care, healthcare, housing, etc. Grandfamilies.org
A Guide to Navigating Resources and Benefits for Relative/Kinship Caregivers in West Virginia is a wonderful resource developed in conjunction with The Mission West Virginia Relatives as Parents Program, WV Bureau of Senior Services and the Brookdale Foundation. Topics Include; Getting Started as a Relative/Kinship Caregiver, Financial Assistance, Medical Assistance, Food/Clothing and Emergency Assistance, Transportation, Education, Parenting and Behavioral & Mental Health. A Guide to Navigating Resources in West Virginia
A Healthy Grandfamilies brief containing facts and websites that you might find useful or to share with others.
Activities for Grandchildren and Families
Grandfamilies are invited to participate in one or more of the Junior Ranger Fishing Days being offered this spring at New River Gorge National Park and Preserve. The event is free of charge and will be held at the park’s Camp Brookside Environmental Education Center on Highway 20 about three-miles north of Hinton, WV. So come on out and enjoy an afternoon of fishing with your grandchildren. Grandfamilies Fishing Day
Are you a grandparent raising a granddaughter? Consider signing them up for Girl Scouts at NO COST to you. Girl Scouts is open to all girls in grades K-12. Girls develop new skills, talents and friendships through troop activities, participate in camps and more. The girls learn about leadership, build confidence and character, and take action in their communities. Girl Scouts of Black Diamond Council covers all of WV. Simply visit https://www.bdgsc.org/join and select “Foster/Kinship Care” to get started!
Children’s mobile crisis response & stabilization teams are teams of crisis specialists in your community dedicated to providing the care you and your family need when someone up to age 21 is experiencing an emotional or behavioral crisis. Click Here for more information.
Family Response to Addiction
Raising the Children of the Opioid Epidemic: Solutions and Supports for Grandfamilies is a helpful publication from Generations United. It discusses grandfamilies affected by substance use disorders.
Are you in need of financial assistance raising your grandchildren? TANF Benefits might be available for you. TANF stands for Temporary Assistance to Needy Families and provides public assistance money, support service payments and work opportunities to eligible families. TANF assistance to children is called a “child only grant.” The relative/kinship caregiver’s income is NOT considered in eligibility for the child only grant and work requirements are waived. A family cannot receive both TANF and Foster Care Maintenance payments. Cash assistance is issued once a month on an Electronic Banking Transfer (EBT) card or as a direct deposit to a bank account. To apply for TANF assistance, you must apply in person at your local county Dept. of Health and Human Resources office. To find your local DHHR office, click here.
Need financial assistance with your broadband internet services? The Emergency Broadband Benefit Program is a $3.2 billion federal initiative to help Americans access the affordable, high-speed internet they need during the COVID-19 pandemic. It is a short-term program that will end once the funds have been utilized. Click here for more details
The WVU Center for Excellence in Disabilities facilitates online and local parent support groups, provides individualized trainings on advocacy, managing challenging behaviors with positive parenting practices and coaching in other needed areas to strengthen communications between children, parents and service providers. Click here for Family Parent Network Specialists
The Specialized Family Care program can assist families with placement services and respite services. They are also available to help answer questions about I/DD waiver. Click here for Specialized Family Care Program
Internet and Computer Safety
As a grandparent are you new to computers and navigating the internet? Want to know more about staying safe online? Please check out the Seniors Guide to Online Safety
Kinship Care/Foster Care
Legal Aid’s new Kinship Care Information Hotline is a program that will provide free legal information about issues like guardianship, adoption, abuse and neglect actions, estate planning, student financial aid issues and public benefits questions. Kinship Care Information Hotline.
West Virginia Foster and Kinship/Relative Parent Bill of Rights from the Office of Inspector General of WV.
West Virginia Foster Child Bill of Rights from the Office of Inspector General of WV.
West Virginia Foster Care Ombudsman Frequently Asked Questions and Contact Information.
West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources Office of Inspector General Brochure
Long Term Care and Support
Are you looking for long term service and support care? Check out this helpful database of information from West Virginia Aging and Support Care
Navigating the Legal System
Legal Aid of West Virginia. With over 100 full-time staff in 12 offices, Legal Aid of West Virginia is the state’s primary provider of civil legal aid and advocacy services. Their mission is to ensure that the most vulnerable among us – low-income families, seniors, victims of domestic violence, the disabled – have an equal shot at justice, in the courtroom and in their communities. Legal Aid of WV
LegalShield partners with law firms across the United States who have experience in nearly every area of law. For a monthly fee of $24.95 members can consult with their LegalShield provider law firm on any topic and they will work diligently to find a resolution — no matter your legal issue. Get questions answered on unlimited issues, documents reviewed, letters written, and phone calls made on your behalf. Membership includes will preparation, along with medical and durable power of attorney. After 90 days, this service also includes: Uncontested name change, Uncontested Adoption, and Uncontested Divorce/Separation. There is also lawsuit and IRS protection, assistance with moving traffic violations, and more.
For more information contact: Sandy James, LegalShield Indep. Assoc.,
Navigating the School System
Education Technology. Concerned about your Grandchildren using their iPad (or computer) for homework and school assignments? This guide will help answer some of your questions and concerns. Parents Guide to Educational Technology
Legal Aid’s new Education Hotline is a program that will provide free legal information about general education topics to West Virginia parents and guardians. Education Hotline.
Feeling the Stress of Raising your Grandchildren? This website offers some guidelines to help reduce your stress and help you succeed at parenting the second time around. Help Guide for Grandparents Raising Grandchildren