Press Release

Generations United Announces Co-Directors of the National Center on Grandfamilies

(Washington, DC, January 12, 2021)—Generations United announced today that Jaia Peterson Lent, MSW, and Ana Beltran, JD, will serve as co-directors of the National Center on Grandfamilies effective immediately.

Beltran started her career with Generations United in 1999 when she served as the National Center’s founding director. For the past 18 years she has served as a special advisor to the Center. Returning to a full-time role, she will be responsible for state policy, technical assistance and product development.

Lent, who began with Generations United in 2000 as policy coordinator, will continue in her role as the organization’s deputy executive director. She will be responsible for federal policy, national advocacy and the GRAND Voices Network of grandfamily advocates.

“I am thrilled to have Ana back as a key member of the Generations United team,” said Donna Butts, executive director. “She has a rich understanding of grandfamilies and a deep expertise in policies that support the families’ success. Both Jaia and Ana are passionately committed to grandfamilies and bring unique complementary skills that will strengthen our ability to unify advocates and fight for the services the caregivers and children deserve.”

Ana Beltran is a long-time, valued national expert on issues impacting grandfamilies. She has provided technical assistance and training to countless state agencies, legislatures, and legal providers, resulting in policy and program reforms for the families. Beltran is a prolific author covering a wide array of issues impacting grandfamilies and has been published in numerous journals. In a joint collaboration, she was a primary author of the first set of comprehensive National Model Family Foster Home Licensing Standards on which the federal government “relied heavily.” Beltran obtained her law degree from Georgetown University Law Center.  She worked in all three branches of the federal government and was a practicing attorney before finding her true passion helping support grandfamilies. Beltran credits this passion to her amazing grandma who helped raise her.

Jaia Peterson Lent is a trusted voice on Capitol Hill on issues related to grandfamilies and intergenerational cohesion. She has testified before the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging and serves as cochair of the federal Advisory Council to Support Grandparents Raising Grandchildren. Lent is a sought-after speaker, nationally-recognized columnist and blogger and respected media resource. She has been named one of the Top 50 Influencers in Aging by Next Avenue. Under her leadership, legislation has passed to support grandfamilies in areas ranging from housing to family caregiving to child welfare. Lent holds an MSW from Syracuse University and is a licensed social worker.

About Generations United:
For more than three decades, Generations United has been the catalyst for policies and practices stimulating cooperation and collaboration among generations, evoking the vibrancy, energy and sheer productivity that result when people of all ages come together. We believe that we can only be successful in the face of our complex future if generational diversity is regarded as a national asset and fully leveraged. The National Center on Grandfamilies is a critical part of Generations United’s mission and strives to enact policies and promote programs that support relative caregivers and the children they raise.