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Grandparents Raising Grandchildren program urges caregivers to apply for benefits

Gateway Area Development District

According to a report compiled by Generations United, more than 51,000 grandparents in Kentucky are responsible for the care of their grandchildren, as opposed to a parent or other caregiver. Local officials aim to ease the financial burden many of these caregivers on a fixed income might face.

Through state funding, Gateway Area Development District (ADD) offers Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Grants to assist with childcare necessities like clothes and school supplies.

Regina Thompson is the Coordinator of the Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Program at Gateway ADD. She said the $500 vouchers exclude food and non-necessities, like toys, electronics, and games.

“We have such a large population of parents that have taken over the parenting responsibility of grandchildren from toddler age to teens,” said Thompson. “And they can use this additional funding to get the necessary supplies, as in clothing, bedding, beds, to meet those very basic needs.”

Thompson explained to use these vouchers, a worker with Gateway ADD will meet the grandparent at the checkout area of the store after the grandparent shops for the items.

These funds are made available by statewide Caregiver Support Services programs. Thompson said the organization hopes to provide as much assistance as possible while they still have the grants, so people are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.

“We have a lot of grants available for all of the Gateway counties at this point, that’s why we are really pushing a big presence to get this money applied for. In all Gateway counties, which is Bath, Menifee, Montgomery, Morgan, and Rowan, there are vouchers available,” said Thompson.

Eligible grandparents must be the primary caregiver of a child no older than 18 without a parent present in the household. More information on eligibility requirements and how to apply is available online at gwadd.org/grandparents. Thompson added there are workers available at Gateway ADD to assist people in filling out grant applications.