Grandparents can play a significant role in their grandchild’s life. However, some grandparents find themselves in circumstances where they must take on the role of sole caretaker to their grandchild.
Duet, a non-profit organization in Arizona, offers support specifically to grandparents raising their grandchildren.
Patricia Dominguez, who has been working with grandparents as the Director of Kinship Services with Duet since 1998, says that she has seen firsthand the impact that their services have had on grandparents.
“It’s really heartbreaking for a lot of grandparents when the children come to them with trauma and then they have to lose out on the grandparent role,” said Dominguez. “They want to step up to the plate and help their grandchild the best way they possibly can and we want to give them the tools and resources they need in raising those children.”
Through their Grandparents Raising Grandchildren services, Duet offers a variety of assistance for grandparents. These include support groups, legal guidance, respite services, informational and personal guidance, educational workshops, and social gatherings.
Dominguez says their one-on-one personal guidance is the most frequently used service as many grandparents just need emotional support for navigating their new situation.
“Sometimes they just need a person to talk to and we are able to provide that support and feedback by validating them and letting them know they’re not alone. We’re here and we’re not going to judge them,” said Dominguez.
The organization also strives to put together an array of monthly social events. Many of these are offered at minimal or no cost and offer a way for grandparents to feel supported in a fun environment. They also allow the kids interact and see they’re not the only ones being raised by their grandparents.
Upcoming events include an outing to the Arizona Children’s Museum, a trip to the Phoenix Zoo, and a virtual game night playing Jeopardy via Zoom.
If you or a grandparent you know would benefit from Duet’s services, Dominguez says the best way to reach out is to call them.
“Raising grandchildren takes a toll financially, physically, and emotionally. We want to encourage them, get them engaged, and keep them connected with us,” said Dominguez.
For more information visit: https://duetaz.org/grandparents-raising-grandchildren/