Custodial Grandparent Support Program
It is not always easy growing up in a non-traditional household. The Custodial Grandparenting Support Program, developed by Christian Counseling of Mid-Michigan (CCMM), was created for both custodial grandparents and their grandchildren to establish a healthy home environment. This program helped families receive counseling that allowed them to better communicate as they learned to cope with the absence of one or more biological parent(s). Both the participating grandparents and grandchildren were able to acknowledge the improvement in their relationships because they had a space to talk about problem areas and learned how to live within their unique family.
The Healthy Youth Healthy Seniors Fund of the Mt. Pleasant Area Community Foundation helped to make the program’s first year possible. The CCMM was able to serve approximately 20 people from multiple families. Most of the grandparents ranged in age from 50 to 85 and the grandchildren ranged from 6 to 17. Although each family’s case is different, the wide range of participants allowed the program to help families deal with a variety of home/life issues. By the end of the program, four different counselors had held more than 30 sessions with participating families.
Through the program, CCMM discovered that custodial grandparents were in need of more support than the grandchildren. The grandchildren were able to better adjust to a new living arrangement, while the grandparents had a more difficult time. CCMM saw the positive effects of this program, and while it has officially ended, the care of the grandparents and grandchildren will continue. The families that participated are welcome to continue receiving counseling and CCMM has no intention of turning away those seeking help based on their inability to pay.