If you are raising a grandchild or another relative’s child, you are not alone.

Over 90,000 Kentucky children live in households headed by grandparents or relatives with no parent present according to recent studies. Caregivers face many challenges as they strive to develop healthy relationships with children who have experienced significant loss, pain and disappointment. The needs of children can seem overwhelming, especially if you are unexpectedly thrust into the role of being their primary caregiver.

The Bluegrass Regional Grandparents As Parents (GAP) Coalition will hold its 17th annual conference on Thursday, March 21, at the Clarion Hotel, 1950 Newtown Pike, Lexington.

The keynote address, “Fostering Resilience: One Connection at a Time,” is presented by Dr. Clarissa Belle, a licensed psychologist with a passion for assisting youth, families and child-serving systems in coping with psychological trauma.

Nine additional workshops include: Legal Path to Guardianship, Custody and Adoption; Helping the Electronically Addicted Brain; Online Sexual Exploitation; Needle Exchange and Naloxone: Two Strategies to Prevent Negative Health Consequences of Injection Drug Use; Understanding and Disciplining Your Child; Legal Aspects of the Adoption Process; Resources Available to Pay for College; Kinship Stories of Advocacy and Action; and Identifying Keys to Cultivate Healthy Relationships with Trauma-Exposed Youth.

The registration fees (includes all materials, a resource fair and lunch) are $5
for grandparents/relative caregivers and $50 for professionals (CEUs for social work and FRYSC).

In addition to the workshops, attendees can preregister for a free legal consultation provided by local attorneys.

Contact the Fayette County Extension Office, 859-257-5582, or visit www.gapofky.org for registration and full workshop descriptions.