Ruby and GrandmaIn September, the nation celebrates grandparents.

Grandparents can play several roles in a child’s life, including role model, friend, and caregiver. They do extraordinary things like providing child care as respite for parents and making children feel special in order to support their families. And many grandparents across Kentucky and the nation are doing something grand everyday by stepping up to help raise their grandchildren when the child’s parents are unable.

In Kentucky, an estimated 55,000 grandparents were raising their grandchildren in 2014. Some of those living arrangements were due to the abuse and neglect of a child where the Department for Community Based Services was involved, though many of them are not.

Sunday, September 11, 2016 was National Grandparents Day, a time to show appreciation for our grandparents and all they do for us. Just like Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, Grandparents Day is a time to celebrate those important people in our lives.

Ways you can celebrate:

  • Let your grandparents, grandchildren, and other older and younger people in your life know you think they are special.
  • Encourage your friends and family to visit or connect with their grandparents, grandchildren, and grand-friends.
  • Do something grand for grandparents you know who have stepped up to raise their grandchildren.
  • Post your favorite pictures of your grandparents or write about a special memory you’ve shared with them on Twitter or Facebook. Use the hashtag #KYGrandparents or #KYKinshipFamilies in your caption to get the message trending.
  • Check out the  2016 State of Grandfamilies Report to be released by Generations United on September 13th, which explores the impact of the opioid epidemic on grandfamilies and ways we can help support these families.

Whether you were raised by a grandparent or not, take a few moments to say thanks or remember those grandparents who have been a special part of your life.