During the monthly Caregiver Empowerment meeting on Sept. 11, staff members treated current and previous clients, who are grandparents or other relatives raising children, to breakfast and gifts as a way to recognize the job they do. Each caregiver received a yellow rose and a poem in honor of the sacrifices they make every day to ensure that the children are safe, healthy and happy.
Caregiver Empowerment Groups are support groups led by staff members that bring generational caregivers together to offer emotional support, educational opportunities and to give them the opportunity to share advice on ways to deal with common issues they face. Zahire Gonzalez-Villa, director of MCH Family Outreach in El Paso, said there was a diverse group of grandparents present who each had their own personal stories to share.
“The group laughed, cried and basked in each other’s successes,” Gonzalez-Villa said. “In the short time they spent together, they were able to provide each other with advice and community resources which might help them in their current situations. Because of the varying ages of the grandkids being raised, the grandparents were able to provide insight into what those grandparents with younger kids can do and expect in the future.”
Staff support families through the Gap Program by providing in-home assessments, case management services and support groups for caregivers. The Gap Program builds on the family’s strengths and works with all family members to find solutions to the challenges of raising children in today’s complex world.
For more information on services provided through MCH Family Outreach, visit MCH.org to find an office near you.