Social Development Minister Donna Cox and some participants of the Virtual Grand Parenting Workshop take a photo following the distribution of certificates at the ministry’s head office yesterday.

A total of 53 grandparents have successfully completed a six-day virtual parenting for grandparents workshop hosted by the Ministry of Social Development and Family Services.

At a brief distribution to present certificates on Tuesday, some grandparents said they were greatly impacted by the sessions including the segment on Social Media Management and Cyber/Internet Safety.

This session exposed them to the dangers that their grandchildren may face when using social media.

Minister of Social Development and Family Services Donna Cox said workshops such are these are a core function of the Ministry’s National Family Services Division as it seeks to develop and conduct public education programmes and training, including sensitisation campaigns, lectures, and workshops on social issues throughout T&T on matters impacting the family.

At the ceremony participants suggested that future workshops should include topics such as dietary and nutritional needs for children, cyber security, caring for children with physical and mental disabilities, adoption of children, divorce and its impact on family life, and caring for mistreated/abused children.

This they said would contribute significantly to the development of their grandchildren and as such, encourage them to take their roles in their grandchildren’s lives more seriously.

One of the participants at the presentation of certificates Susan Turnbull-Fortune has been quoted in a statement from the ministry as saying, “I have gained more knowledge about technology, smart devices, and social media, and the workshop also assisted by teaching me the importance of listening to my grandchildren.”

The objective of the virtual workshop was to, among other things, sensitise and provide information to grandparents aimed at assisting them in making responsible decisions regarding the safety and well-being of grandchildren and other children under their care.

National Family Services Director Kathleen Sarkar commended the minister for piloting the initiative noting that it is important to equip this unique segment with the necessary knowledge and skills that would assist them to make responsible decisions regarding the safety and well-being of their grandchildren.

The workshop falls under the Ministry’s Grand Parenting Programme.

Following its launch in August 2021, the Grand Parenting Programme seeks to provide support to grandparents raising their grandchildren.

Under this new programme, grandparents have access to training specifically designed to meet their needs, counselling services, and access to support groups.

The Ministry of Social Development and Family Services said it was pleased to host the programme geared towards building healthier functioning families.

• For further information on matters related to the grand parenting programme, persons may contact the National Family Services Division at 623-2608 ext. 6704 or 6705.