W.Va. State University’s Healthy Grandfamilies Program Expands to Clay, Jackson Counties

Contact: Jack Bailey
(304) 766-4109
Sept. 8, 2017
W.Va. State University’s Healthy Grandfamilies Program Expands to Clay, Jackson Counties
INSTITUTE, W.Va. – West Virginia State University’s (WVSU) Healthy Grandfamilies program will expand its reach into Clay and Jackson counties with sessions beginning this month. The program provides education, support and resources to grandparents who are raising one or more of their grandchildren.

Sessions will begin in Clay County Monday, Sept. 25, at the Clay County Health Department in Clay, W.Va. Jackson County sessions begin Thursday, Sept. 28, at the Epworth United Methodist Church in Ripley. All sessions take place weekly from noon to 2:30 p.m. and are free to registered attendees.

“West Virginia currently ranks fourth in the nation for grandparents raising grandchildren,” said Dr. Brenda Wamsley, project co-director and chair of WVSU’s Department of Social Work, a collaborator on the project. “Healthy Grandfamilies is designed to address the unique needs of this family dynamic through education and access to resources and professional support.”

The program consists of 10 discussion sessions focusing on topics such as communications, technology, social media, nutrition, legal issues, stress management, navigating the public school system, 21st century parenting, family response to addiction and more. Participants are provided three months of free follow-up services with the project’s licensed social worker. Such services include assistance with locating community resources, confidential help in meeting unique family needs and advocacy services.

The program began offering its first sessions last year in Kanawha County and has since expanded into Putnam County. The upcoming sessions will introduce the program to Clay and Jackson counties and are being offered through a partnership with West Virginia University Extension Service.

Food will be provided at each session, and children are welcome. Registration is required. For more information and to register, contact Yvonne Lee, the program’s social worker, at (304) 766-3098 or yvonne.lee@wvstateu.edu.

The Clay County Health Department is located at 452 Main St. in Clay. The Epworth United Methodist Church is located at 299 Church St. N. in Ripley.

Healthy Grandfamilies is a collaboration between WVSU’s Department of Social Work and WVSU Extension Service and is funded by the USDA’s Capacity Building Grants Program, Award No. 2015-38821-24374.

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West Virginia State University is a public, land grant, historically black university, which has evolved into a fully accessible, racially integrated, and multigenerational institution, located in Institute, W.Va. As a “living laboratory of human relations,” the university is a community of students, staff, and faculty committed to academic growth, service and preservation of the racial and cultural diversity of the institution. Its mission is to meet the higher education and economic development needs of the state and region through innovative teaching and applied research.
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