WVSU’s “Healthy Grandfamilies“ program has helped 125 grandparents as they raise their grandchildren, but at the end of 2018 they were almost out of funding. Now, thanks to the Budget Bill they are taking the program statewide.
“The ages range from 39 to 82, they were grandparents, they were great-grandparents and there were some great-great-grandparents,“ said Bonnie Dunn, Program Director.
The program offers free discussions that help grandparents with navigating the public school system, social media, legal services and more. They also help grandparents fine community resources.
After hearing about what the program does, Del. Dianna Graves, (R) Kanawha invited Dunn to speak to the House Senior, Children and Family Issues Committee. Through her testimony and an amendment offered by Graves, the program received a 300,000 dollar fund to help the program expand statewide.
“Honestly without the support of the entire finance committee, I mean I’m not a one man show, I can’t do it on my own, it passed with overwhelming support,“ said Del. Graves.
The money will not only be spent on start up costs but also starting a Center of Excellence at WVSU where counties and grandparents can call for help finding resources.
Dunn says she plans to have a coalition in each of West Virginia’s 55 counties by the end of 2019.