RELATIVES AS PARENTS program (RAPP)
Kinship relative childcare has deep roots in West Virginia's culture. In the Eastern Panhandle parents face daily struggles while raising generations of children due to various family circumstances. When unthinkable situations occur, often a relatives motivation is to step up and do what is best for the child, regardless of the sacrifice. Providing a safe, healthy place for a child to live with caring adult relatives is the paramount issue but all too often results in court battles and financial hardship.
While raising her grandson, Annie Otto, Board Member of the National Committee of Grandparents for Children's Rights and a RAPP support group facilitator was instrumental starting the RAPP groups across the Eastern Panhandle after her success with Grandparents are Indeed Necessary(GAIN).
The Eastern Panhandle RAPP under Annie's leadership has served more than 200 relative caregivers since 1994, and strives to reach more families every year. Many community groups have supported RAPP through the years, and RAPP seeks to collaborate with additional organizations to continue to provide support to kinship families.