Press Release

Generations United Plays Key Role in Meetings with the Federal Advisory Council to Support Grandparents Raising Grandchildren

Washington, DC — There are 2.6 million children in grandfamilies (aka families where grandparents and other relatives are raising children) who are playing an increasingly important role in helping to raise America’s children. Generations United is honored to be partnering on the Federal Advisory Council to Support Grandparents Raising Grandchildren, recently established by law. Jaia Peterson Lent, deputy executive director at Generations United, has been selected as Council co-chair.

“I am honored to serve with such a prestigious and dedicated group of individuals to address the important needs of grandfamilies and the children who thrive in their care,” Lent explained. “The inclusion of grandparents and other relative caregivers on the Council will be vital to the successful outcome of our work together.”

The Advisory Council — established by the Supporting Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Act — holds its first meeting this week, August 28-29.

“Generations United congratulates the Administration for Community Living and Administrator Lance Robertson for their support of grandfamilies,”
said Donna Butts, executive director of Generations United. “Establishing and facilitating the Council’s endeavors can result in giant steps forward on behalf of these important families. We are proud to support this work.”

In addition to Lent, five Generations United’s GrAND Voices Members will be serving: Sarah Smalls – Virginia; Bette Hoxie – Maine; Gail Engel -Colorado; Sonya Begay, Navajo (Dine’) – Maryland; and Sharon Olson – Minnesota. Ana Beltran, Generations United’s longtime special adviser to the National Center on Grandfamilies, will also be presenting at the Council’s first meeting along with other experts.

The Supporting Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Act recognizes that grandfamilies would benefit from improved coordination of resources intended to support them, as well as better dissemination of information about those resources.

The Advisory Council will identify, promote, coordinate, and disseminate to the public information, resources, and the best practices available to help grandparents and other relatives both meet the needs of the children in their care; and maintain their own physical and mental health and emotional well-being.

About Generations United:
For over 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.