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Grandparents Take Over Parenting Role


When parents devote 18 or more years to child-rearing, they often look forward to getting back to goals, dreams and hobbies that they had put aside. But some grandparents get thrust back into the parenting role, and have to put those things aside. Throughout the country, there are over 5.7 million children being raised by their grandparents - one of the most famous just became president.

In the Kansas City area, there are over 16,000 grandparent caregivers; in Jackson County, most tend to be female, and many live in poverty. But there is some support. Family Friends Grandparents and Relative Caregivers is a program organized by Children's Mercy Hospital that helps grandparents face the challenges of raising grandchildren.

KC Currents' Susan Wilson recently visited with Johnnie Jolly, Rosadie Henry, Mary Campbell, Joann Stovall, and a woman who prefers to go by Ms. Jones, to chat about their experience and how the group has helped.

This story was produced for KC Currents. To listen on your own schedule, subscribe to the KC Currents Podcast.

A native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Susan admits that her “first love” was radio, being an avid listener since childhood. However, she spent much of her career in mental health, healthcare administration, and sports psychology (Susan holds a PhD in clinical psychology from the University of Pittsburgh in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania and an MBA from the Bloch School of Business at UMKC.) In the meantime, Wilson satisfied her journalistic cravings by doing public speaking, providing “expert” interviews for local television, and being a guest commentator/contributor to KPRS’s morning drive time show and the teen talk show “Generation Rap.”
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