On Oct. 25, 2019, the 13th annual Grandparents Raising Grandchildren was held at The Woodlands. On behalf of the NEPA Intergenerational Coalition, we wish to thank the 2002 plus people who attended, the many speakers we had to present up to date information of benefit to the attendees, the forty plus Resource Tables providing support to GRG families and the excellent service at the Woodlands. These conferences have been supported by many donors who have lent their name to sponsorship, and we commend all of them for inspiration in choosing to help financially the role that this demographic plays across the Pocono-Northeast. We, also want to mention the All One Foundation which has funded the Pittston Memorial Library to carry out eight activities that are designed to benefit the GRG family community.
Of note, is the more recent meetings held at the State level of grandfamilies and their needs and aspirations, under the leadership of first Teresa Osborne, and now PA Secretary of Aging Robert Torres who led these meetings, and brought other State officials to offer comments about what the Commonwealth provides in the way of assistance. We believe that all of this helps establish a base of support for the GRG community in this region and the entire State. We, also wish to note the legislative support of State Representative Eddie Day Pashinski and Karen Boback, both of whom attended the Conference. In addition United States Senator Robert Casey had legislation approved by the Senate and the House and eventually signed into law in 2018 and has proposed new legislation for 2019, hopefully to be passed in 2020.
Another avenue of interest and support for the GRG community is a 77-page Joint State Government Commission report in 2019 titled “ Grandfamilies in Pennsylvania: The Second Time Around” which contains an analysis of need and many recommendations for action. This report should be circulated across this region and discussed by the many Support Groups currently in existence and those likely to be created in 2019-2020.We commend the Commission and its staff and Board for undertaking this unique approach to meeting the needs of GRG families in the Commonwealth.
We believe that many State and Federal legislators will continue to examine ways to assist the GRG family which continues to grow regionally, Statewide, and nationally. With the forthcoming decennial Census of April 2020, fresh information will be available to track the extent to which GRG exists and becomes an important part of data information in the nation.
Anyone interested in finding out more and needing assistance should contact the undersigned at 570-262-3443 (C) or communicate his e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
He is the fundraising director at the Pittston Memorial Library as well as Chair of the Coalition, and that entity is already starting to plan the 2020 14th Annual GRG Conference.
Howard J. Grossman, AICP
Chair, NEPA Intergenerational Coalition