The Relatives as Parents Program (RAPP) assists grandparents and other relatives who have taken on the role of primary caregiver for related children. RAPP offers a wide range of services, including a support group for adults that offers a social network of grandparents and relatives and referral and access to appropriate community based services and resources.
- A grandparent raising grandchildren?
- An aunt or uncle raising nieces or nephews?
- A sibling raising a brother or sister?
- A cousin raising your cousin’s children?
- Raising children of a family member in jail?
- Raising a child under 18 not born to you?
If you answered YES, then we are here to help!
RAPP is a place to come together with other grandparents and relative care providers to share the struggles, setbacks and successes of parenting a second time around. Since the group consists of people from similar situations, members receive and provide support to one another. They also discover tips for coping with changing family dynamics. In addition, they gather information information about available community resources. Most importantly, they find ways to negotiate with outside service systems.
In 2016, RAPP received a $15,000 grant through the Ramapo Trust of The Brookdale Foundation Group of Teaneck, N.J. to expand the program.
The groups meet once a month at Children’s Aid Society in Clearfield and also at Glendale Valley Spirit of Truth Church in Irvona. Each meeting includes a free light dinner and free child care
Why Is It Important?
One out of every 12 children lives in household headed by a relative other than a parent. As a result, grandparents or relatives are raising approximately six million children nationwide. Grandparent-headed households are the fastest growing type of family in the United States.
Additionally, substance abuse, divorce, parental incarceration, or other similar circumstances cause these special families to come together. Therefore, a significant number of grandparents and relatives have informal custody and do not know how this will affect their ability to care for and make decisions on behalf of the children in their care.