Group offers help for those raising another's child

Child Care Resource and Referral in Rochester organizes a free, local "relative caregivers" support group for individuals raising children other than their own kids.

Such individuals can include:

• Grandparents parenting again by raising grandchildren.

• Older siblings raising younger brothers and sisters.

• Aunts and uncles raising nieces and nephews.


• Unrelated neighbors raising neighborhood kids, either through a formal agreement or through an informal habit.

The support group has been part of Rochester's fabric since 1995, said Carma Bjornson, a social worker with the Crisis Nursery and facilitator of the Grandparents Parenting Again group.

"We want to be there to be able to give some help, encouragement and support," she said.

The group meets the third Tuesday of each month. The next scheduled gathering is 6:30 p.m.-8 p.m. Sept. 18. Those who plan to attend should call ahead so organizers can plan snacks and staff for child care.

Group members decide each year what they want to learn more about, and Child Care Resource and Referral arranges speakers with expertise in each topic. 

Subjects recently covered include handling misbehavior, relationships and how they're affected by stress, sexual abuse warning signs and mental health.

The topic Sept. 18 is "Love and Logic," a presentation on setting limits. 

Eight to 10 individuals attend any given session, on average. As many as 20 show up sometimes, depending on a topic's popularity. Overall, about 50 to 90 families have connections to the group.


Want to attend? Call 287-2020.

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