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 West Virginia State Legislature, grants and contributions from several health insurance companies throughout the state.  Designed as a series of nine discussion sessions and follow-up services, Healthy Grandfamilies is taught by volunteer professionals and paraprofessionals that are knowledgeable of each topic.  

Each session provides valuable resources along with childcare for attendees and refreshments. Upon completion of the program, participants will receive a certificate of completion, and three months of follow-up services with a 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
• Navigating 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 social worker that is dedicated to working with grandparents and is sensitive to the special needs of 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.