Presentation about 'Grandparents Raising Grandkids' was part of 'Safe Baby Court' meeting on March 16 at Lambuth Memorial UMC in Jackson

3/21/2018



Lambuth Memorial United Methodist Church (LMUMC) in Jackson, Tennessee, hosted a meeting on March 16 to facilitate the initiation of a Safe Baby Court in Madison County and hear a presentation about a support group called “Grandparents Raising Grandkids.”
 
Rev. Dr. Gary Morse and Terry Canaday Freeman made the presentation about the support group for which they both serve as leaders. Morse is LMUMC's pastor and Freeman is a member of the church.
 
Morse and his wife, Donna, obtained legal custody of their granddaughter in November 2016 and seek to dialogue with others sharing the experience of raising grandchildren.
 
Freeman is a child specialist and director of the Montessori Center in Jackson who has worked with families for more than 40 years. She is a grandparent of four and seeks to serve other grandparents who are parenting a second time around.
 
Morse noted there are five sets of grandparents at LMUMC who are raising grandchildren. “It’s not a new concept; it is simply more prevalent in today’s culture,” he said.
 
Judge Joseph Howell, who will preside over the Safe Baby Court in Madison County, attended the March 16 meeting. He stated that there is a real need for this support group for grandparents. There is no other similar group in existence in the area. 
 
The Safe Baby Court will distribute information about the support group to people who have questions and need assistance and support.
 
The support group is for grandparents raising grandchildren of any age, not just babies. Aunts, uncles and other relatives also may participate.
 
The support group meets on the second Saturday of each month at 4 p.m. at LMUMC. CLICK HERE for the support group's brochure.
 
For more information about the support group, contact Morse at 731-422-6558 or pastor@lmumc.net.  

Morse and Freeman also have been asked to speak about the support group to the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services Child Protective Services.
 
The 45 professionals who attended the March 16 meeting represented government and private non-profit institutions, including Madison County Juvenile Court Services, Tennessee Commission on Children and Youth, Tennessee Department of Children’s Services, Carl Perkins Center for the Prevention of Child Abuse, Pathways Behavioral Health Services and West Tennessee Health Care.
 
Madison County in West Tennessee is one of five counties in Tennessee where Safe Baby Court is being established as an outgrowth of Zero to Three, a pilot program that helps connect babies and families with support and services they need to promote healthy childhood development, according to Morse.
 
To learn more about Zero to Three, visit