Raising a child is a huge responsibility for any parent, but when the parent isn't there, oftentimes a grandparent is forced to step in.

A conference was held at the American Bank Center on Wednesday to help grandparents and other relatives learn what resources are out there to help them.

The age range of those grandparents vary from mid-50s all the way up to 91-year olds who now find themselves as the sole provider for their young grandkids.

Adela Gonzalez is currently in the process of adopting her 10-year old grandchild. She knows she's not alone when it comes to the number of grandparents raising kids. The last census found that the number of kids living in a grandparent's home has increased significantly.

That comes with a lot of questions, even legal questions, on how to gain custody of that child.

On Wednesday, close to 500 people packed the American Bank Center for a conference to learn about the tools and resources out there to help raise a grandchild.

"Wether the parents are now deceased, or incarcerated, or the parent is no longer involved in the life of the child, the grandparent, aunt or uncle has stepped in to raise that child," said Lisa Oliver, a Senior Services Supervisor.

There are a number of support groups and even grants available to help.

For more information, you can call the area Agency on Aging or Senior Community Services at 361-883-3935 or 361-826-3150.