$7.56 million in support for grandparent carers
A re-elected Keneally Labor Government will introduce a range of measures to help grandparent carers – including respite camps, special parenting programs and playgroups.
In addition, a re-elected Keneally Labor Government will invest $7.56 million to create a telephone advice line, new supported playgroups and expand parenting education services – to support more than 4,500 grandparent carers across NSW.
The number of grandparent carers – who take on the role of caring for children when their parents are unable to look after them – has more than doubled in NSW since 1997. More than a quarter of children in care in NSW are now raised in an extended family.
“Grandparent carers are the unsung heroes in many families,” NSW Premier Kristina Keneally said.
“Grandparent carers often take on the responsibility of raising their grandchildren because of drug and alcohol abuse, incarceration, mental health issues and domestic violence.
“NSW Labor’s support package will make grandparent carer’s lives easier by establishing more respite camps, special parenting programs, playgroups and a counselling and advice hotline.”
A re-elected Keneally Government will provide:
- $2.24 million for supported playgroups for grandparents to connect them with support services as well as provide play experiences for grandchildren;
- $2 million for grandparent carer support groups to give carers access to peer support for dealing with their unique challenges;
- $1.16 million for a grandparent carer telephone counselling and information and referral website and regular newsletter with advice, information and support;
- $1.12 million for respite camps to give grandparent carers the opportunity to meet other grandparents, share experiences and allow grandchildren to interact with other children being raised by their grandparents; and
- $1.045 million for the Triple P Program tailored for grandparent carers, providing them with practical, effective advice on raising young children.
Support playgroups for grandparent carers will be established in the following regions:
- Central Coast;
- Central West;
- Cumberland Prospect;
- Far North Coast;
- Inner West;
- Mid North Coast;
- New England;
- Northern Sydney;
- Orana Far West;
- Riverina Murray;
- South East NSW;
- South East Sydney; and
- South West Sydney.
Council on the Ageing NSW CEO Ian Day said the package would provide much needed support for grandparent carers.
“We are particularly supportive of the grandparent carer information and referral hub and the telephone helpline – both services will improve access to vital information, counselling and advice to grandparents raising their grandchildren,” Mr Day said.
Minister for Community Services, Linda Burney said: “Grandparent carers make an invaluable contribution, but they also make enormous sacrifices to give their grandchildren the best possible upbringing.”
“They can become isolated from their friends, they often feel a sense of loss for their traditional role as grandparents and it can be financially difficult for many grandparents to support children if they are no longer working.”
Grandparents already receive an allowance if the children in their care have been assessed by Community Services as in need of care and protection and new funding will build on the support already available.
“In NSW, 27 per cent of children in care live with their extended families and in many cases this means their grandparents,” Ms Burney said.
“Children who live with their grandparents are more likely to develop resilience, feel a sense of belonging to their family and community and feel more positive about their schooling.
“For children in foster care, grandparent care is often the best solution – grandparent carers provide love, stability and continuity in a young person’s life and also relieve pressure in our foster care system.
“NSW Labor’s package will provide the support and information grandparent carers need to continue their important work.”
Tags: carers, children, community, grandparents, Kristina Keneally, policy