If you recently began caring for your grandchildren, there are things you can start doing now to help you down the road. For starters, bookmark this website, as there are many helpful tips and services listed that can assist you. Also, remember you are not alone. There are many support systems to help you, your children, and grandchildren. 

  • Always ask any questions you have. If you do not understand the answer, ask for further explanation.

  • If you have custody, take the custody papers with you everywhere. Make copies of them (you can do this at your local library) and keep them in your car, purse, and house).  

  • Respond to all correspondence. Do not assume the necessary information reached the appropriate person. If you receive a letter, respond to the person who sent the letter. If you have a phone message, respond to the person who left the message (even if you have to call multiple times). Always leave a message so the person knows you are trying to call them. 

  • Attend support groups. Meeting others who have been in similar situations will give you the courage to get through the difficult days. Refer to the support groups page for information on local support groups.

  • Do not expect to get an answer. Many people at agencies you contact may not know how to deal with your situations. If you get an unclear answer, ask someone else. Do not be afraid to ask to speak with a supervisor or someone at the state level. 

  • Be sure to give full, accurate information to everyone from whom you seek help. 

  • Ask for the full name, agency represented, and phone number from everyone with whom you discuss your situation. Ask for business cards. Record this information in a notebook. 

  • There are many local resources that can provide you with general information on raising children. First, doctors offices. Contact your grandchild's pediatrician or medical clinic to identify other valuable resources and referrals. Second, hospitals. Many hospitals sponsor programs and activities regarding child development and child rearing. Call you local hospitals to find out if they offer such programs. Third, libraries. Libraries are a great source for parenting books and materials.