Catholic Charities of Central Texas (CCCTX) announced that the organization was awarded  an Innovation Grant focused on implementing intergenerational programs through the St. David’s Foundation.  The grant will allow CCCTX to conduct research, planning, and outreach in advance of offering supportive services for Central Texas families headed by a grandparent (“grandfamilies”).

Grandfamilies are one of the fastest growing family types in the United States. Between 2009 and 2017, the number of grandparents responsible for grandchildren under age 18 in Travis, Bastrop, Caldwell, Hays, and Williamson counties increased by 34% from 10,580 to 14,157. Grandfamilies are formed as a result of countless life situations, but there is evidence that the opioid epidemic and deportations resulting from increased immigration enforcement are two main factors in the increase.

“This grant will allow us to set the groundwork to provide services to the growing, yet underserved population of grandfamilies in Central Texas with a specific focus on rural areas,” said Sara Ramirez, Executive Director of Catholic Charities of Central Texas.  “It is our goal to soon provide services that strengthen these unique families financially and emotionally, and help them overcome feelings of isolation as we connect them to resources and to others in their situation.”

As a comprehensive social services agency, CCCTX will draw upon the organization’s current expertise in offering homelessness prevention services, financial assistance, counseling on grief and loss, play therapy for children, support groups led by licensed professional clinicians, legal services for immigrants, and parenting resources.

“Research indicates that grandfamilies that receive support have better social and mental health outcomes related to safety, improved stability and improved behavior in children,” said Ramirez.  “These much needed services will mean strengthened family bonds and healing from trauma.”

CCCTX will develop a community engagement plan by working collaboratively with and through stakeholders and residents to address issues affecting the wellbeing of rural grandfamilies.

Catholic Charities of Central Texas is dedicated to helping people of all ages, faiths, ethnic backgrounds and economic circumstances to strengthen families and address basic needs across 25 Texas counties. Catholic Charities of Central Texas provides services in 6 areas: Mental Health Services, Disaster Response, Financial Stability, Gabriel Project Life Center, Immigration Legal Services and St. Michaels Veteran Services. For more information, visit

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