Whether you're a relative, caregiver, 'Grandfamily' in need of help, or a potential supporter of our cause, you'll find what you're looking for here.
GAP's mission is to provide programs and services that meet the urgent and ongoing needs of grandparents and other relatives raising at-risk children.
GAP was founded in 1987 by Sylvie de Toledo, a dedicated clinical social worker, whose own family was impacted by the death of her sister. Her sister left an 8 year old grandchild who immediately went to live with his grandparents. Ms. de Toledo recognized the need for support services targeting grandparents and other relatives who began to parent relative children because the parents were unable to do so. The primary reason was due to parental drug and alcohol use, however other reasons included abuse, neglect, incarceration, death mental illness and more. The impact of parenting again, required a total change in lifestyle. Most families needed help in recognizing what should be done and how to do it.
Group therapy meetings where relatives could discuss their issues and concerns in a non-judgmental and caring environment with others in the same situation as themselves (often for the first time) became the backbone of Grandparents As Parents programs today. These groups, however, are only a small part of GAP's programs today.
GAP currently serves relative caregivers in the Los Angeles County area. Over 90 percent of the caregivers are grandparents. More and more often we are seeing aunts, uncles, siblings and close friends stepping up to care for the children due to their biological parents inability to do so.
We are a "ONE-STOP SHOP" for any relative caregiver needing help. GAP provides cost-free, community-based programs and services that include:
GAP maintains numerous weekly support groups throughout Los Angeles County, quarterly newsletters, a Caregiver Center at the Edelman's Children's Court, an annual conference, and an information/ resource/referral warmline that serves families and professionals locally and across the United States.
Currently, there are these support groups meeting weekly throughout the greater Los Angeles area.
In addition to the emotional support, education and guidance that participants receive, group facilitators create opportunities for fun via monthly social activities for the grandparents and their children. We have a team of volunteers, experienced caregivers, and staff capable of helping.