CLEARFIELD — In Davis County, a population of children nearly as big as the number of residents in Woods Cross or West Point is being raised by grandparents.
Nearly 9,000 children are being raised by grandparents, or in some cases great-grandparents, said Jacci Graham, director of the GrandFamilies program that is coming to Davis County.
Monthly classes for youth involved and quarterly activities are among initial plans for the nonprofit group, which will have offices in the North Davis Senior Activity Center in Clearfield.
The program was formally unveiled to the Davis County Senior Services Advisory Board last Friday during its meeting at the County Health Department in Clearfield.
“GrandFamilies will collaborate with Davis Behavioral Health. I think it’s another important
service for seniors raising their grandchildren,” said Sally Kershisnik, senior services director with the health department.
“The kind of pressures that are put on them, in their 50s and 60s,” and often older, she said, can include dealing with newborns, adoption, guardianship, and “raising a child who may have issues themselves.”
Often those children come from dysfunctional environments where parents may be on drugs and alcohol, or where there may be sexual and physical abuse, the board was told.
“We have been trying to get this into Davis County for the past five years but cost has been a problem,” Kershisnik said.
Now a beneficiary has been found through a nonprofit organization led by former LDS general authority Merrill Batemen.
It has started a similar program in Utah County, with its second outreach to be in Davis County, Graham, a Davis County resident, said.
For more information check out the Sept. 13 edition of Davis Clipper.