‘Grandparents Raising Grandkids’ Conference in Luzerne County

WILKES-BARRE -- Grandparents play an important role in a child's life, and on Friday, more than 100 men and women raising grandkids gathered in Wilkes-Barre.

People who raise their grandkids already know that those little ones can add financial and emotional stress to their lives. On this day, they learned there are resources to help.

More than 150 seniors came out to the 10th annual "Grandparents raising Grandkids" conference at Genetti's Best Western in Wilkes-Barre.

"These are very difficult times, and grandparents are raising grandchildren all across the country. There's several million youngsters being raised that way," said Howard Grossman, Grandparents Raising Grandchildren.

In Luzerne County, an estimated 2,000 to 3,000 grandparents are raising their grandchildren. But this event attracted many from all over out area, including Kitty Terbush of Tunkhannock, who's seeking help.

"It seems like if you're a foster parent, there's things available. If you're a kinship parent, there's no financial help for you at all."

Terbush is raising her 1-year-old grandson Warren. Her own son and his girlfriend have run into problems with drugs, she says. Now Warren is her priority, even though raising him isn't easy or cheap.

"I had to get formula, crib, I had to get diapers, I actually took my life insurance policy and I cashed it in so I could get a lot of things," said Terbush.

There is some help out there, but lawmakers admit not enough.

"They need the help of our social services, and they could use a couple bucks here or there," said State Rep. Eddie Day Pashinski, (D) Luzerne County.

Pashinski says a bill that would provide all of that to grandparents raising grandkids was making its way through Harrisburg, but right now, it's stalled in the Senate. He says if any families in Luzerne County need help, they can reach out to his office.