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 February 17, 2012 |

Once a child has grown and ventures out into the world as an adult, many parents prepare for the joy of grand-parenting. However, for some, the role of being the grandparent who spoils the grandchildren for a weekend only to return them to the waiting arms of mom and dad has changed. Many grandparents in Louisiana have been left with legal custody of their grandchildren.

Thankfully, these grandparents do not have to assume these new parenting responsibilities alone. This was recently shown in Covington, Louisiana where a local organization sponsored a conference called Grandparents Raising Grandchildren.

It is such resources that a growing number of grandparents, who are now raising their grandchildren in Louisiana, have turned to and cherish. The conference, sponsored by John 3:16 Grandparents Raising Grandchildren of St. Tammany, was the first one to be held in Covington. This year focused on the essential steps to protecting a child. A similar conference has been staged in Baton Rouge for the last 13 years.

Not only did the group sponsor the conference, but they also wish to be recognized as a resource for both grandparents and other relatives who now find they are responsible for raising children that aren’t theirs. Depending on the situation, many grandparents are not particularly prepared for the responsibilities that come with raising a child. That is why the added support is even more crucial. The group from St. Tammany offers a support group and stays in close contact with grandparents via e-mails and telephone calls.

Some grandparents are readily taking the group up on its offer for support. One woman who began raising her grandchildren with her husband last summer said the group has helped make the transition from grandparent to parent a smoother one.

Another woman, left with the tall task of raising four grandchildren for nearly the past decade, admitted that raising the children was both tiring but rewarding at the same time. She, too, admitted that having support groups and resources to help in the process were crucial to successful parenting.

John 3:16 Grandparents Raising Grandchildren is also scheduled to address another often-overwhelming side of the parenting arrangement — the legal side. The group is planning a workshop on the legal aspects of grandparent-grandchild parenting in June.

Source:, “Grandparents raising grandchildren find support at Covington conference,” Christa Chautin, Feb. 8, 2012

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