Grandparents back Family Commission's Findings
Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Trust NZ backs Families Commission’s Findings
The Trust’s 2009 study showed that more than half the children who came into grandparent care were reported as having serious physical and psychological problems as a result of the abuse and neglect they suffered before coming into care. Raising children with problems like this with (in most cases) very limited financial means saw many grandparents struggling below the poverty line.
"We agree wholeheartedly with Commissioner Rankin’s recommendations that while the Government’s introduction of respite holiday camps is a step in the right direction, the Government can and should do a lot more to support the caregivers of these children. Commissioner Rankin is right; it is an investment in the wellbeing of children and society generally," says the Trust’s National Convenor and Founder, Diane Vivian. "Our own research clearly showed that over eighty-six percent of grandparent caregivers reported significant improvements in the children’s well being over time, which is directly attributable to the stability of care, along with the resilience and commitment of the grandparent caregivers," says Vivian.
"The area where the Government really needs to focus more attention is in providing equitable financial support for grandparents raising grandchildren. They might now be eligible for the same basic rate per child with an Unsupported Child Benefit, as a foster caregiver is; but they are unable to access financial support to cover the cost of counselling therapy and medical needs of these children. We are also finding that many of our single grandparents are being told they must apply for the Domestic Purposes Benefit instead of receiving their superannuation along with a UCB. In effect they receive even less financial support from the Government in many of these cases," says Vivian