Sharon Clark is a wise woman. When she married Brian Clark in 1997, she recognized that blending their two families might be tricky and perhaps they could use some help. She reached out to Clinton Human Services for family counseling.
“It helped us all get off to a good start,” Sharon says. She laughs, “Really, it saved me!”
Twenty-three years later, when Sharon and Brian became legal guardians of their then 7-year-old grandson Xzavion, Clinton Human Services immediately sprang to mind. “I am a big advocate of asking for help,” says Sharon. Xzavion was making many tough adjustments, and Sharon wanted all the resources she could get to support him.
At the time, Xzavion wasn’t happy with himself or his situation. With counseling and the support of his school and family, he learned communication skills and became a happy, well-adjusted child who feels good about who he is. “It was the best decision I could have made,” says Sharon.
“I am so grateful for the assistance Clinton Human Services Department has given to me, my family and our community,” says Sharon. “My advice to others is – make that phone call. Don’t be afraid to reach out. It’s ok. The resources are here in Clinton.”
Sharon then partnered with Clinton Human Services to create Grandparents Raising Grandchildren. It’s a group where people can find empathy and camaraderie with other grandparents. They talk about complicated family dynamics, what it’s like to parent at 60 as opposed to 30, and the joys and sacrifices of providing their grandchildren a safe, stable, and loving home.