A call for assistance to help grandparent carers care for their kids

Grandparent care is the fastest growing form of out-of-home care for vulnerable children in Australia.

Children come into grandparents’ care when it is unsafe for them to live with their parents – usually due to substance use, mental health issues, incarceration, or domestic violence.

Grandparent carers keep their grandchildren out of the foster care system, bringing significant social and financial savings to government and the community – now and into the future ...

Grandparent care is the fastest growing form of out-of-home care for vulnerable children in Australia.

Children come into grandparents’ care when it is unsafe for them to live with their parents – usually due to substance use, mental health issues, incarceration, or domestic violence.

Grandparent carers keep their grandchildren out of the foster care system, bringing significant social and financial savings to government and the community – now and into the future. However, they do this at great expense to their own health and wellbeing.

To help their grandchildren flourish, grandparent carers need more assistance and support to sustain them in their caring role.

This call to action to government represents an invitation – an invitation to step up, as grandparent carers do, to create a fairer future for grandchildren.

How can the WA State Government help?

  • Introduce a Grandparent Carers’ Subsidy – a regular, accessible and equitable means of financial support.
  • Create an ‘evidence of care’ system to facilitate access to universal and specialist state and Commonwealth government services and income support.
  • Institute Grandparent Carer Advisors in key services, namely the departments of Communities, Health and Education.
  •  Fund a specialist legal resource within Community Legal Centres with expertise in court systems, Children’s Court (care and protection orders), wills and superannuation.

How can the Commonwealth Government help?

  • Reform Centrelink procedures so Family Tax Benefit follows the child.
  • Introduce minimum required turnaround times for grandparent carers’ Centrelink claims.
  • Remove all activity requirements from income support payments for all grandparent carers.
  • Create an ‘evidence of care system’ (compatible with State Government systems)
  • Introduce a census question to track changes in the number of grandparent-headed families over time.

Thank you for taking the time to consider the plight of grandparent carers and the children in their care. Now is your chance to care for grandparent carers, care for kids.

 

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