ROMEOVILLE, IL – State Rep. Natalie Manley, D-Joliet, along with local elected officials, is set to welcome Gov. JB Pritzker to Romeoville for a momentous occasion.
Later today, the Governor will sign into law House Bill 780, officially launching the Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Pilot Program.
The new program aims to provide essential support and resources to grandparents raising their grandchildren in Illinois. With over 70,000 grandparents caring for more than 263,890 children, this initiative comes as a lifeline to those facing unique challenges in their later years.
The pilot program, spanning from January 1, 2024, to January 1, 2027, will operate in Will County and aims to bridge the gap between grandparents and the state agencies offering assistance.
The Illinois Department on Aging, which has been actively supporting older caregivers since 1996, will play a vital role in the program. It will establish support groups, offer financial and technical assistance, provide information and referral assistance, and train professionals and facilitators to cater to grandparents’ needs.
Additionally, grandparents and older relatives over the age of 55 raising grandchildren will be eligible for services under the Illinois Family Caregiver Support Program, offering a range of services, including information about available resources, assistance in accessing services, counseling, support groups, caregiver training, and respite care.
With the Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Pilot Program set to become a reality, the state is making a bold statement in supporting its aging population and acknowledging the invaluable role grandparents play in raising the next generation.
For more information on the Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Program and other caregiving resources, caregivers are encouraged to contact the Senior HelpLine or their local Area Agency on Aging.