Fairfax County Offers Day Off for Grandparents Raising Grandchildren While Children Participate in a Theatrical Production.

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An estimated 3,500 households in Fairfax County have grandparents raising their grandchildren, many of whom have little opportunity for leisure. Fairfax County is sponsoring a Kinship Respite Day on Saturday, December 13, to provide grandparents (and other relatives) who are raising a child for another family member a rare day off while providing a fun day for the children.  For this kinship respite day, the children will be part of a theatrical production, as well as participate in a variety of games and arts and crafts activities.  Children ages 3 -15, who are Fairfax County residents, can participate in the free program.  Grandparents can drop off their children at one of three community centers and the children will be bused to James Lee Community Center in Falls Church for a day of fun and planned activities.


This event will be held from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. at the James Lee Community Center in Falls Church (2855-A Annandale Road, Falls Church, VA 22042) and transportation will be provided from the following three community centers:  

Gum Springs Community Center, 8100 Fordson Road, Alexandria, VA 22306
Mott Community Center, 12111 Braddock Road, Fairfax, VA 22030
Southgate Community Center, 12125 Pinecrest Road, Reston, VA 20191

If it is more convenient for the grandparents, they can bring the children directly to the James Lee Community Center.   


There is no cost for the Kinship Respite Day, but pre-registration is required.  Lunch and two snacks will be provided for the children. 


For more information or to register, call the Department of Family Services Fairfax Area Agency on Aging at 703-324-3517, TTY 703-449-1186.   For reasonable ADA accommodations, contact Nancy Coffey with the Department of Family Services Children, Youth and Families Division at 703-324-7723, TTY 703-222-9452.


The county’s departments of Community and Recreation Services, Family Services, Systems Management for Human Services, Fairfax County Public Schools, and the Kinship Care Committee of Fairfax County are jointly sponsoring the event.



In addition to the respite day for relatives who are raising a child for another family member, the schools and other county departments have published a Kinship Care Resource Guide and are sponsoring two ongoing support groups that meet twice each month. 


The Resource Guide is available on the Fairfax County Web site at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/dfs or in hard copy by calling the DFS publications manager at 703-324-5870, TTY 703-222-9452.  The guide contains more than 100 pages of helpful information including child care services, financial and legal assistance, safety information, educational services, resources for children with special needs, services for older adults, community recreation resources and much more.


The support groups are open to any grandparents or other relatives raising children under age 18. The sessions are free and child care is provided.  Pre-registration is required.  The North County Grandparents Support Group meets on Tuesdays from 7 – 8:30 p.m. at the Pennino Building (12011 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax, VA 22035).  The South County Grandparents Support Group meets on Thursdays from 6:30 – 8 p.m. at Bryant Alternative High School (2709 Popkins Lane, Alexandria, VA 22305). 


To register for a support group, contact Robin Hamby, Fairfax County Public Schools, 703-277-2640; Colleen Turner, Fairfax County Department of Family Services, at 703-324-5489; or Sallie McLean, Fairfax County Department of Family Services, 703-324-5401; TTY 703-449-1186.

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