About Grand Central Inc
Grand Central Resource Center has been serving relatives caregivers and their child/children for over 25 years. Grand Central is one of the nation’s most comprehensive resource centers for grandparents and other relatives raising children with a bank of neighborhood, city, and national resources for legal, legislative, and physical and mental health and social services assembled within several guides for providers and families. Caregivers are provided specialized individual and peer-to-peer support: help with appointments; paperwork completion; and specific resources and referrals to community-based programs and services. Those families needing ongoing case management services become part of the agency’s short-term caseload.
Grand Central, the Philadelphia kinship caregivers resource center, was developed under the auspices of the PHILADELPHIA TASK on KINSHIP CARE in 1995 to implement the recommendations generated by the 1993 National Kinship Care Conference that addressed the growing needs of such alternative caregivers and the children in their care.
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The volunteer Task Force members were key persons from public and private service agencies (Support Center for Child Advocates, Judicare, Philadelphia Citizens for Children and Youth, Department of Recreation, Department of Public Welfare, Department of Human Services, City Council, Metropolitan Christian Council, Philadelphia Society for Services to Children, Philadelphia VIP, AIDS Law Project of PA, Raising Other Children, Grands As Parents, Super Grandparent “93 etc.).
Kinship care is the full-time nurturing and protection of children who must be separated from their biological parents often due to parents’ substance abuse, illness, incarceration, child abuse/neglect, and other debilitating problems.
Grand Central Inc.’s mission is to bring together a consortium of community-based and public agencies, family members, community and faith-based leaders to serve all who are caring for others’ children, including relatives and family friends.
To provide information and referrals, grief services, and advocacy. To act as a catalyst for systems change by identifying service gaps and creating model programs to fill unmet needs. To improve the lives of kinship caregivers and their children.
In 1998, Chartan Nelson came to Grand Central to provide parenting training to relative caregivers. Certified as a Parent Education under Effective Parenting (Effective Blacking Parent Model.) The parenting training was designed to enhance caregiver-child relationships by increasing knowledge about child development. In 1999, Nelson transitioned to the Director of Special Projects conducting workshops and training, acting as a liaison between the organization and other Philadelphia based child welfare agencies. In June 2006, Nelson assumed the leadership of Grand Central as Executive Director. She has spent the last 25 years (and counting) working with underserved kinship families and youth. Drawing on her professional knowledge base and personal experience of raising family members and foster children, she has become an effective keynote speaker at local conferences and consultant for training material, and research.
" There is no power for change greater than a community discovering what it cares about. "
MARGARET J. WHEATLEY