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Grandparents Step Up To Raise Grandchildren & Support Each Other

I recently met with a resilient group of people called Grandparents Raising Grandchildren of Volusia County: It includes local residents who have stepped in to care for their grandchildren whose parents have been taken out of the family picture because of addictions, incarceration, even death.

This group meets monthly at a small church in Ormond Beach where they have dinner and then meet to share stories and offer mutual support.

Some of the grandchildren are there too, playing together. I congratulate this group for meeting regularly to support the grandkids and each other.

The journey of grandparents being suddenly thrust into caring for their grandchildren isn’t an easy one.
Besides having to provide extra financial support, families face dangers brought about by the Internet, peer pressure and illegal narcotics, human trafficking, and more.

While I’m not physically raising my grandchildren, who live up north, I offer much emotional and financial support to help them overcome the absence of their dad, who struggles with drug addiction. So I do understand many of the challenges facing these folks.
In Florida, it’s estimated that at least 343,000 children live with their grandparents. That number continues to climb as families struggle with substance abuse addictions.

Thankfully, we have important re-sources here in Volusia County and in Tallahassee that can help families caring for grandchildren.
Our Volusia Family Resource Center on U.S. 92 in Daytona Beach houses multiple agencies that can help families assess their youth and get them back on track.

The goal is to divert potentially troubled juveniles from the juvenile justice system by early intervention and referring families to services, hopefully to avoid future law-breaking.

  • The Volusia Family Resource Center is located at 3747 W. International Speedway Blvd., Daytona Beach. Main number: 386.254.1512.
  • Hope Florida is a statewide program that offers one-on-one support to identify immediate and long-term needs. Call 850.300.HOPE (4673).

Grandparents Raising Grandchildren of Volusia County began as a ministry at Church of the Holy Child in Ormond Beach in 2017. Since then, it’s grown and helps share information and support families who are raising their grandchildren.

If you’d like to learn more, contact the organizers by e-mail: Contact@GRG or by text: 386.217.3147 or call the church: 386.672.4470.

When I met with this group recently, we talked of various challenges befalling families raising teenagers these days.
One of the grandparents asked me if there’s any hope in keeping kids safe and healthy.
I said: There’s always hope.

We’re all in this together and we’re here to protect our community. If we don’t step up to help care for our grandchildren, who will?


Stay smart and stay safe,
Sheriff Mike Chitwood