Did you know? There’s an estimated 177,000 children being taken care of by their grandparents or other extended family members in Arizona according to Arizona Grandparent Ambassadors, a support network for grandparents raising grandchildren. The reasons why a grandparent or family member may take over care of a child are most often because of substance abuse, mental illness, incarceration or financial difficulties. Nearly forty percent of children are being raised by their grandparents in Arizona.

If you’re an Arizona retiree caring for your grandchild or grandchildren, then you know how isolating and overwhelming it can be at times. Thankfully, there are various programs and resources available to finding organizations set up to support and guide Arizona grandparents such as Duet, Grandparent Ambassadors, and Arizona Kinship Support Services. These organizations can help grandparents pursue legal guardianship, find some financial resources, connect with other Arizona grandparents and more.

That’s why the Arizona Grandparent Ambassadors partnered with sixteen Arizona cities and towns including the West Valley cities of Buckeye, Goodyear and Litchfield Park to declare September Grandfamily/Kinship Care Month to help raise awareness about the issue of child care, as well as support and services available to families.

Just know if you are an Arizona retiree or grandparent raising children and needing help caregiving, you are not alone! If you’d like more information about resources to help Arizona retirees and Arizona grandparents with supporting your grandchildren, please contact Sharon Mason.