December 1, 2010; FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE ……………………………………………..a pdf poster is attached FYI
CONTACT: Candy Eaton, Program Director
Hancock County Children’s Council, a program of Downeast Health Services Inc.
52 Christian Ridge Road, Ellsworth, ME 04605
“Relatives as Parents Group Expands to Washington County”
The Downeast Children’s Council, a program of Downeast Health Services, is pleased to announce that a new monthly “Relatives As Parents” group will begin meeting in Washington County on the first Tuesday of every month 10:00-11:30am. If you are interested in participating in these FREE mutual support groups, please call Candy Eaton at 667-5304 ext. 261. If you want to share your story, meet others in your situation, learn about resources and activities, join us at Downeast Health Services, 247 Main Street, Suite 2, Machias.
Each month, we will provide participants with an opportunity to discuss and learn from each other about a specific topic specific to “Parenting the Second Time Around”. Topics
January 4th: “Maine Grandfamilies” DVD introduction
February 1st: “It Wasn’t Supposed to be Like This”
March 1st: “Getting to Know You”
April 5th: “Rebuilding a Family”
Our Hancock County group will continue to meet on the second Tuesday of every month, 1:30pm-3:00pm, at Downeast Health Services, 52 Christian Ridge Road, Ellsworth. New
participants are welcome at any time. The
next meeting will be December 14th, with the scheduled topic of “Discipline
is Not a Dirty Word, But It May Look Different Today”.
Despite the relatively high number of “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 County, there are others who share many similar experiences and feelings. Please call 667-5304 ext. 261, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our website at www.downeasthealth.org for additional information on parenting classes, support groups and family resources available in Hancock County. To learn more about Maine Kids-Kin and its services, visit www.mainekids-kin.org or call 1-866-298-0896.