Maui News

GRANDcares Program Launches Youth Club on Maui

March 27, 2018, 2:44 PM HST
* Updated March 27, 2:46 PM
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There are approximately 1,200 families with grandparents as primary caregivers in Maui County with many more unreported. PC: GRANDcares

The GRANDcares program recently designed an innovate curriculum for keiki ages 8-12 years old who are being raised by grandparents.

The interactive classes are called GRANDcares Youth Club and will begin on April 5, 2018. The seven-week program is at no cost for grandfamilies and a light meal is provided.

The GRANDcares program was designed in three phases; to strengthen self-care for grandparents, develop communication and leadership skills in grandchildren, and to increase the ability of service providers to meet grandfamily specific needs.

The GRANDcares Youth Club helps recognize and enhance young people’s strengths, while promoting positive youth development. Each week provides hands-on learning experiences that have been curated to build leadership skills, encourage self-confidence, and learn goal setting strategies. Keiki will have the opportunity to practice important life skills that will help them develop more resources to cope with daily situations and enhance their quality of life.

The GRANDcares program was established on Maui and Big Island in 2015 and focuses on providing education to grandfamilies. Grandfamilies are families where the grandparents (or aunties and uncles) take care of children in the family who are not their own. The program is supported through the University of Hawaii at Mānoa.

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GRANDcares says about 2.6 million children are being raised in grandfamilies or kinship care with no birth parents in the home (3.5% of all children in the US) and that for every child in foster care with relatives, there are 20 children being raised by grandparents or other relatives outside the foster care system.

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There are approximately 1,200 families with grandparents as primary caregivers in Maui County with many more unreported.

“Supporting grandparents who are taking full responsibility of their grandchildren is crucial for our communities, especially in Hawaii,” says Christine Spencer GRANDcares Site Facilitator.

Registration for Maui’s first GRANDcares Youth Club is open for both grandchildren and grandparents. The first phase of GRANDcares, which offers classes for grandparents, will run simultaneously with the Youth Club. The programs were created in parallel to complement one another.

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The grandparent courses focus on managing stress, communicating difficult emotions such as anger and guilt, and setting goals. Additionally, supervised activities are provided for grandparent caregivers with keiki under 8 years old.

Email [email protected] or attend the kick-off event at UH Maui college campus on Thursday April 5, 2018 at 5 p.m. in the Community Services Building.

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