County will pitch in to help grandparents raising grandkids

City News Service

Grandparents count, and the San Diego County Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to find way to help the 21,000 or so locally who are raising their children’s children.

“We need to develop a network of services and programs aimed at ensuring that grandparents have the resources they need to successfully raise their grandchildren,’' Supervisor Greg Cox said.

Staffers in Aging and Independence Services will start researching ways to connect grandparents with social services and other county services, based on a unanimous vote of the board.

“To protect their grandchildren, many grandparents must immediately learn to navigate a fast-changing world, where synthetic drugs are sold at convenience stores and sexual predators prowl social networking websites,’' Cox said. “They must navigate a complex maze of health, educational and social services, often times without the ability to establish the authority for making health and educational decisions for the children in their care.’'

Grandparents sometime cannot get information from schools, or medical or social services that the birth parents could, unless they become legal guardians.

“While most grandparents are resting, relaxing and enjoying their golden years, there’s a population out there who through no fault of their own finding themselves raising their children’s children.’' Cox said. This unfortunate situation does not discriminate. Grandparents raising their grandchildren reside throughout our region and come from all walks of life, ethnicities and income levels.’'

The county also agreed to work with the San Diego County Child Care and Development Planning Council, a state-mandated advisory board, on a five-year strategic plan. The plan has five goals, including the expansion of early childhood programs, with an emphasis on infant and toddler care; supporting collaborative activities, training and other events for childcare and early education providers; educating developers on the needs for childcare in newhousing and commercial developments.