Supporting grandparent carers
Grandparent carers will be able to share experiences and build their parenting skills through 25 new peer support groups which were launched today by the Parliamentary Secretary for Community Services, Julie Collins, and the Senator for South Australia, Anne McEwen, at Gilles Plains Primary School in South Australia.
Ms Collins said the Gillard Government is investing $1.2 million over four years to establish 25 MyTime for Grandparents peer support groups, which delivers on a 2010 election commitment.
“The Gillard Government understands grandparents who are caring for their grandchildren make enormous sacrifices,” Ms Collins said.
“It can be socially isolating, and they are often faced with emotional, physical and financial difficulties.
“They give grandparent carers a supportive environment to meet, seek peer support and find out about services and assistance available to them.
“A facilitator provides grandparent carers with information about support services and resources, while a play helper provides activities for their children.
“The groups will support around 300 families where grandparents are raising children each year,” Ms Collins said.
The Parenting Research Centre is coordinating the MyTime for Grandparents program nationally. It is based on the successful MyTime peer support network for parents caring for a child with a disability.
Senator McEwen said the Government recognises the important role grandparent carers play.
“Across the country, we have more than 11,000 families where grandparents are the full-time carers of children,” Senator McEwen said.
“There are three MyTime for Grandparents groups in South Australia in Hillcrest, Hackham West and Davoren Park.
“MyTime for Grandparents will provide much needed additional support for grandparent carers, and help them continue supporting the children in their lives.”
The Government has shown its support for grandparent carers by establishing dedicated grandparent advisors in Centrelink offices in Perth (Warwick), Sydney (Caringbah and Penrith), Melbourne (Oakleigh) and Brisbane (Caboolture).
These advisors improve grandparent carers’ access to Centrelink payments and services, and provide information and referral to other government and community services.
All grandparent carers are entitled to the full range of Australian Government payments, including Family Tax Benefit , Child Care Benefit and Parenting Payment, on the same basis as other families.
For further information on MyTime for Grandparents go to www.mytime.net.au/grandparents or freecall 1800 889 997
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