Rochester, N.Y. - Being a grandparent has a special meaning for Linda James of Rochester; over 20 years ago she took guardianship of two of her grandchildren after their mother was killed.
“I did it, you know it was hard, but I did it,” said James.
During the years of raising her grandchildren James says she learned everything she could to keep up with the times that were changing around her.
“Once I learned it I wanted to pass it on to others,” said James. ”I knew there were others out there doing the same thing I was doing and they needed help.”
Since 1997 James has been helping grandparents and other kinship caregivers. She works at Skip Generation at Hillside Family of Agencies. James says over the past fifteen years she has seen an increase in grandparents caring for their grandchildren.
According to the 2010 census, across the county 2.7-million grandparents are the primary caregivers of their grandchildren; 4,740 of them are in Monroe County.
“I think part of having these children is that you feel alone and no one understands what you're going through,” said James. “I want them to know there are thousands of other grandparents out here doing the same thing that they're doing, and we do understand.”