University of Pittsburgh
September 29, 1998



PITTSBURGH, Sept. 30 -- As thousands of local grandparents continue to assume responsibility for raising their grandchildren, the University of Pittsburgh and a local senior center are taking steps to build an infrastructure of support for these grandparents.

In conjunction with Vintage, a comprehensive senior citizen center, Pitt is co-hosting the second annual "A Day Out! For Grandparents Raising Grandchildren" on Thursday, October 15 from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Vintage,

401 N. Highland Avenue, East Liberty. Workshops and informal discussion groups on child-rearing are scheduled, as well as lunch, activities, crafts, and even a massage and mini beauty salon for the grandparent who needs a break. The event is free and open to all parenting grandparents. On-site child care will be provided.

Figures from the 1990 census show that grandparents are the primary caregivers in more than 18,700 Allegheny County households. More than four million children are being raised by their grandparents nationwide, a number which has steadily increased through the 1990s, due to parental substance abuse, incarceration, neglect, divorce, or joblessness. The grandparents, who represent all socioeconomic levels and ethnic groups, face ongoing challenges in the areas of child discipline, legal issues, stress, financial resources or simply navigating their grandchild's school system.

Generations Together (GT), a Pitt program of intergenerational studies,

is partnering with Vintage to build a support network of services to enable these grandparents to maintain functioning family units. GT and Vintage will determine these grandparents' needs, develop ongoing contact with Allegheny County social service agencies, build a mailing list and eventually establish personal contact with parenting grandparents.

To register for "A Day Out!," call 412-361-5003, Ext. 107. For more information, call Tom Smith at Generations Together at 412-624-7371.