Are you a grandparent in the Valley who raises your grandkids? You’re not alone. There are over 100,000 children being taken care of by their grandparents or other extended family members in Arizona. In fact, nearly forty percent of children are being raised by their grandparents in Arizona due to varying reasons from parental substance abuse, mental illness, incarceration or financial difficulties.

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 to support and guide Arizona grandparents. The Southwest Human Development will lead on informational meeting on Grandparents (and other kin) Raising Grandchildren (or other's children) from 10 a.m. to noon Wednesday, July 27th at Rio Vista, 8866 W. Thunderbird Road, Peoria.

Southwest Human Development's mission is to support parents, grandparents, and caregivers so they can provide children with the best start in life. At the meeting, participants can learn about what role the agency plays in kinship care, and how the agency can help. They will discuss:

• The need for kinship care.

• Struggles/obstacles kin face in raising their children.

• Strengths of kinship care and the positive outcomes for the children.

• Resources and supports are available to kinship families.

To learn more about programs and services that are of greatest benefit to Arizona grandparents, call Debbie Pearson at 623-773-7070. For more resources for Arizona retirees and active adults caring for grandchildren and other family members, please contact Sharon Mason.