[HCCN] PR: Support for Relatives as Parents Spring 2011

Candy Eaton children at downeasthealth.org
Thu Mar 10 11:08:50 EST 2011

March 10, 2010; FOR IMMEDIATE 
RELEASE..................................................a pdf poster is 
CONTACT:/Candy Eaton, Program Director
Downeast Children's Council, a program of Downeast Health Services Inc.
52 Christian Ridge Road, Ellsworth, ME  04605/
/207-667-5304, ext. 261; //children at downeasthealth.org/ 
<mailto:children at downeasthealth.org>



*"Down East Support for Relatives Caring for Children"*

If you are a grandparent, aunt, uncle or other guardian caring for 
children of relatives, you are invited to join other caregivers in two 
monthly support groups held in Hancock and Washington counties.The 
Downeast Children's Council, a program of Downeast Health Services, is 
pleased to remind you of a monthly "Relatives As Parents" support group 
that meets on the first Tuesday of every month in Machias and the second 
Tuesday of every month in Ellsworth.

If you are interested in participating in these FREE mutual support 
groups, please call Candy Eaton at 667-5304 ext. 261.  Everyone is 
welcome.Share your story, meet others in your situation, and learn about 
resources and activities at the following locations:

·Downeast Health Services, 247 Main Street, Suite 2, Machias, 
10:00am-11:30 on the *first* Tuesday of April, May and June 2011.

·Downeast Health Services, 52 Christian Ridge Road, Ellsworth, 
1:30pm-3:00pm on the *second* Tuesday of April, May and June 2011.

Every child's family, however family is defined, has value, worth, 
integrity, and dignity.All families have strengths.The most desirable 
place for children to grow up is in their own caring families, when 
those families are able to provide safe and nurturing relationships 
intended to last a lifetime. For generations, extended families have 
made arrangements to provide care for children whose parents are unable 
to do so.

Despite the relatively high number of kinship families or 
"grandfamilies", many of the caregivers do not know others who are in 
similar situations. This can lead to feelings of isolation, which can be 
magnified for families who are already living in sparsely-populated 
rural areas.   These difficult life experiences faced by "grandfamilies" 
are countered by the joy of being part of the child's life, the relief 
of knowing the child is safe, and the satisfaction of seeing the child 
thrive as his or her life becomes more stable.

Even though each story is unique, most of the children living with 
relative caregivers share a common experience of sadness or confusion 
about losing their birth parent, whether it is due to substance abuse, 
physical or mental illness, or other circumstances. It may be a 
temporary or permanent loss, or as often happens, an unpredictable one 
as a birth parent moves in and out of the child's life. Because of this, 
some children wonder if their parents love them and why they are not 
there for them. Many children know the fear and instability of not being 
sure if someone will take care of them or if they will be safe.

Downeast Health Services Inc. seeks to support the many families who 
have recently undertaken the unexpected responsibility of caring for a 
relative's child.   These relatives' lives are complicated, yet they are 
experienced parents and bring history and past lessons to a new 
relationship with their relatives' children.  Throughout Hancock and 
Washington Counties, there are others who share many similar experiences 
and feelings.   Please call 667-5304 ext. 261, email 
children at downeasthealth.org <mailto:children at downeasthealth.org> or 
visit our website at www.downeasthealth.org 
<http://www.downeasthealth.org> for additional information on parenting 
classes, support groups and family resources available in Downeast 
Mmaine.   To learn more about Maine Kids-Kin and its services, visit 
www.mainekids-kin.org <http://www.mainekids-kin.org> or call 1-866-298-0896.

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