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Media Release by The Hon Larry Anthony MP

Supporting grandparents

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Larry Anthony, today announced funding of up to $150,000 to COTA (Council on the Ageing) National Seniors for a series of forums nationwide for grandparents who care for their grandchildren.

“The forums will serve to gather information from grandparents who care for their grandchildren and to identify ways of better supporting them in their caring role. The forums will also provide an opportunity for grandparents to share their experiences with other grandparents.

“I am interested in a number of key issues, particularly;

  • what existing support mechanisms and additional support may be required to assist grandparents in their caring role;
  • financial and legal issues facing grandparents, particularly when they are full time carers and there are issues with the suitability of their children to have primary care of their children; and,
  • informing grandparents about child abuse, or potential abuse of children.

“I have also asked COTA National Seniors to provide me with a report on how all Governments – local, state and federal – and the community can respond to the needs of grandparents who care for their grandchildren.

“Abuse and neglect of children often occurs where parents, or carers, are isolated from their peers and have limited access to support and I am sure grandparent-carers often find themselves in this situation.

“Grandparents need to be aware that parenting styles have changed, and they need to know what those changes practically mean when they are caring for their grandchildren.

“Many grandparents are spending a lot of time caring for their grandchildren at a time when they thought they would be clear of nappies, toddler tantrums and all that comes with raising a child.

“They do an amazing job and have a lot to offer their grandchildren in terms of wisdom, time and love. This funding is recognition of the important job they do and the Coalition Government’s commitment to ensuring all Australian children get the best start in life,” Mr Anthony said.