Editor's note: This story erroneously identified Laura Mosqueda as working for the Boone County Alliance and claimed that she is raising a relative's child. The story has been updated.
BURLINGTON, Ky. -- As the heroin epidemic rages on in the Tri-State, more aunts, uncles, grandparents and other relatives are raising children whose parents have struggled with addiction.
More than 6 percent of Kentucky children are being raised by relatives -- roughly 60,000 kids. And 1,000 of those are in Boone County, according to the Boone County Alliance.
Now, a new group has formed to provide free support to those raising kids who are not their own biologically.
"Relatives Raising Relatives and Others" meets every other month with morning and evening sessions. Laura Mosqueda, family resource center coordinator at Goodridge Elementary School, is a member of the group.
"We're talking about care for the caregiver," she said. "We're talking about our changing world. This month especially when you're talking about grandparents, things have really changed in schools and in society for kids to try to keep them in tap with what's going on in communities and with kids."
The next support group meetings are planned for:
10:30 a.m. Thursday at the main branch of the Boone County Public Library, 1786 Burlington Pike, Burlington, Ky. Snacks and refreshments provided.
6:30 p.m. Thursday at Florence Christian Church, 300 Main St., Florence. Note: Dinner is also offered, starting at 6 p.m.
A variety of topics are covered during the support group meetings, including handling behavioral issues, parenting skills and navigating the judicial system.
Relatives Raising Relatives and Others is supported by a variety of local organizations, including the Boone County Public Library, Florence Christian Church, Anthem-Medicaid, Boone County Schools' Family Resource Center Coordinators and the Boone County Alliance. Financial support from the program comes from the Mayerson Foundation and the Scripps-Howard Foundation.
For more information on the support groups, please contact Abby Beausir, Coordinator of the Boone County Alliance at 859-341-4264, Ext. 2158 or firstname.lastname@example.org.