Grandparents Raising Relatives: Conference Set for March 16

By Martha Sparks

The conference is scheduled for Thursday, March 16 at the Clarion Hotel at 1950 Newtown Pike. Registration begins at 8 a.m. and the last session ends at 3:30 p.m. Grandparents can discover new ways to instill confidence in the children they are raising and enjoy plenty of informational workshops at the 15th annual Bluegrass Regional Grandparents & Relatives as Parents Conference.

The conference will include an opening keynote address by Joan Callander Dingle and eight workshops covering many of the problem areas faced by persons raising children not their own.

As in past years, volunteer attorneys will be available for 30-minute legal consultations. The consultations are free, but you must register.

To request a consultation, please fill out the Legal Consultation Request form on the back of the registration form and send it in with your registration.

Dingle’s keynote address, “Refocus and Reconnect: Changing Childhoods, Restoring Hope, Enjoying Today,” will help families parenting the children of relatives learn to develop confidence and self-esteem in the children they parent.

Dingle, a mother,  grandmother and great-grandmother, adopted her grandson who is now 24.

George Humlong of UK will lead the workshop, “Discipline and the Traumatized Child,” which addresses why parenting strategies that are effective with birth children often do not work with children placed with relative parents.

These children often have been traumatized and/or physically abused by their birth parents.

Humlong is the coordinator for the Special Advocates for Education Program at UK.

Robert Purdy, an 11-year veteran of the Kentucky State Police, will lead a workshop called “Hiding in Plain Sight.”

Caregivers will learn about new technological advances in the drug and alcohol world that have made detection by others much harder.

Registration is $5 for grandparents/relative caregivers and $50 for professionals (social workers, lawyers or others who can earn Continuing Education Units by attending.)

The fee includes lunch.

Registration info: (859) 257-5582 or visit www.gapofky.org.