ZANESVILLE, Ohio – September is National Grandparent Kinship month, and in support of the month, the Muskingum County Kinship and Adult Protective Services filled the Colony Square Mall with over 1200 cutout dolls to represent each child helped through kinship.
Kinship caregivers are grandparents, aunts, uncles, or relatives that have custody of children whose parents are not able to care for them.
“Muskingum County is not a huge county, we’ve got a population around 80,000. And once we get done here, there oughta be somewhere close to about 1200 dolls. So if you think of 1200 children that are being taken care of by grandparents and other caregivers, that’s enough for an entire school,” Patrick Donovan, the supervisor for the Muskingum County Services told us.
He also says that this event helps guardians not feel recognized and highlights the resources that many caregivers do not know are available.
“A lot of the families that are doing this, they don’t really recognize themselves as Kinship caregivers. So hopefully they see what we’re doing and realize oh there are other people out there that recognize who we are and what we’re doing and can hear that there’s programs out there. If they reach out to us, we can maybe help them along that journey and help make that a little bit easier for them,” he said.
The Muskingum County Kinship and Adult Services department is always looking for donations. To learn more about the programs available or to donate, visit Muskingumkids.org.