HomeArticlesGrandKin Café

GrandKin Café

Offering coffee, connection, and community for grandparents raising grandchildren

Right now, in Arizona 62,433 grandparents are responsible for their grandchildren, often stepping into a parental role in times of illness, substance abuse, death, or other circumstances that prevent a parent from caring for their child. Maryann is one of them.

She has been attending Duet’s Grandparents Raising Grandchildren educational workshops, and recently attended the Phoenix GrandKin Café in January.

“It’s so nice to be in a safe place where you can share experiences with people going through similar experiences,” said Maryann. “My close friends aren’t in the same situation, so they can’t relate to what it’s like. I’m so very thankful for the support I get from Duet. Raising teens today is so different now. It’s a whole new ball game.”

Maryann has been raising her now 14- and 15-year-old grandchildren since December 2021. She adopted them in June 2023.

“I wouldn’t have it any other way,” she says. “I feel deep down that it’s meant to be!”
The sacrifice these grandparents are making is hard to imagine at times. Maryann has MS and is dealing with her own health issues, but knew her grandchildren needed her. They attend school in Surprise, and Maryann lives in Phoenix. Each day she drives them to and from school, so they can remain with their friends, and minimize the changes happening in their lives.

“They are thriving. Makayla just made it on her school’s volleyball team. Caden is more low-key, and enjoys gaming with his friends,” said Maryann. “Their grades have improved so much, and they have a more positive outlook for their future. They are making great strides, and I feel fortunate to be a part of their lives.”

These grandparents are doing important — and at times life-saving work — but that does not make it easy. That is where Valley nonprofit Duet: Partners In Health & Aging comes in, launching a new way to bring grandparents or kinship caregivers together for support.

“Parenting for the second time can bring a spectrum of emotions, however, the crucial message remains: you are not alone,” said Lisa McCormick, Kinship Care Services Manager for Duet. “The GrandKin Café provides a comforting hub of laughter, shared experiences, and valuable resources.”

Part education, part peer support, and part social outing, the GrandKin Café is a concept designed to help grandparents and kinship caregivers connect with others facing similar journeys, all while learning about community organizations, services, and programs uniquely positioned to support them and their families.

Attendees have the opportunity to meet monthly to discuss topics like bullying, dating and healthy relationships and child development. The GrandKin Cafés are offered at locations across the Valley as well as virtually in both English and Spanish.

In addition to the GrandKin Café, Duet also offers educational webinars, grandfamilies outings, up to $250 a year for activities per child, legal assistance, and more.

To learn more about Duet’s kinship caregiver services or find a new GrandKin Café in your neighborhood or virtually, visit duetaz.org/grandparents-raising-grandchildren



Sign up for our FREE eNewsletter!

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.