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Catholic Charities offer Support for Relatives Raising Relatives

Written by: John DeRousie, Custom Marketing Solutions
FULTON, NY – For caregivers who find themselves raising their relatives’ children, finding support is not an easy task.

However, Catholic Charities of Oswego County’s Relatives Raising Relatives program has established three unique groups to provide caregivers with the answers and support they need.

“The Relatives Raising Relatives program is a valuable resource for caregivers who, through a variety of circumstances, have taken on the responsibility of raising their relative’s children,” said program coordinator Jonathan Gilmore. “The groups that we offer through the Relatives Raising Relatives program are designed to help families deal with the challenges of raising their relative’s children.”

The all caregiver support group meets the first and third Tuesdays of each month from 10 to 11:30 a.m. and the second Thursday of the month from 5 to 6:30 p.m. at Catholic Charities, 365 W. First St.

The all caregiver support group deals with the emotions and challenges that caregivers raising a relative’s child face everyday.

According to Gilmore, the group discusses issues such as communicating with the child’s parents, school personnel, doctors and other service providers.

“We discuss not only the struggles, but the successes as well. Those attending have found the groups very helpful as they have the opportunity to talk with other families and share their experiences regarding these issues,” said Gilmore.

The all caregiver group is also offered twice monthly from 9:30 to 11:00 a.m. at the Laura Sharp Elementary School, Hinman Road in Pulaski.

The second group, offered the last Thursday of each month, from 10 to 11:30 a.m., offers support to caregivers who are raising a relative’s child due to the child’s parents struggle with drug or alcohol addiction or problems with the law.

“This support group focuses on the struggles and frustrations that caregivers face in communicating with the child as well as the parent who is choosing their addiction over their child or who is incarcerated. We provide caregivers with the knowledge and resources they need so that they are able to effectively communicate with the incarcerated parent and the sense of loss that the child is experiencing and provide proper support without being judgmental or becoming an enabler. There is a fine line between helping someone and becoming an enabler and this group makes it easier to understand where that line is,” explained Gilmore.

For more information on support groups offered through the Relatives Raising Relatives Program or to learn more about eligibility for the program, contact Gilmore at 315-598-3980 ext.233.

Catholic Charities of Oswego County serves all people in need regardless of their religious affiliation.

Primary funding sources for Catholic Charities of Oswego County’s programs are the United Way of Greater Oswego County, the Diocesan Hope Appeal, the County of Oswego and private donations by individuals and local companies and organizations.