A parliamentary committee has made 18 recommendations to the Senate with the goal of improving measures to assist grandparents who have primary responsibility for raising their grandchildren.
Among the proposals are recommendations to extend financial assistance to grandparents, to provide counselling services and parenting classes and even vouchers for computer courses to enable grandparents to better understand the new technologies their grandchildren are increasingly familiar with.
The move is designed to acknowledge and assist grandparents with the valuable but oft-unrecognised role they play in bringing up their grandchildren, often in situations where they are stepping up to help their own children who struggle with alcohol and substance abuse, for example.
The committee has shed light on the diffficulties faced by many grandparents who experience confusion about Government entitlements and services. The Senate inquiry also calls for assistance for grandparents who are in informal carer situations without court orders, and highlights the need to ‘address the disparity that exists between the assistance received by foster carers and….grandparents’.
Inquiry chair Rachel Siewart said: “The recommendations go to critical areas, including the financial support, legal and relationship supports, health, mental health and counselling services that are needed by grandparent raising grandchildren to support themselves and the children in their care.”.
Are you a grandparent who has responsibility for your grandchildren and would like advice on your options regarding documenting and formalising your custody arrangements? If you need assistance in this regard, please do not hesitate to contact Cristina Huesch, here at Alliance Family Law.