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Extra $35m for Grandparents Raising Grandchildren

Thursday May 16th 2013

Extra $35m for Grandparents Raising Grandchildren

In the Budget presented today the Government has allocated funding of $35 million over four years for extended family members caring for children, recognising the difficult job they do.

Social Development Minister Paula Bennett says more than 12,000 New Zealand children are being cared for by wider family members because of the death of a parent or family breakdown.

“We know they are doing a tough job, often on limited incomes with children who need extra attention and help, and we’re determined to support that. Without these carers, more children would need to be in state care” said Mrs Bennett.

As part of the White Paper on Vulnerable Children, Mrs Bennett signalled additional financial help would be made available for carers receiving the unsupported child benefit and orphan’s benefit.

“This funding will improve the support available to kin carers and grandparents raising grandchildren,” Mrs Bennett says.

Grandparents Raising Grandchildren CEO Geoff Lawson says “we are highly delighted that grandparents and other whanau caregivers who step up to care for children who are not been raised by their parents due to family breakdown have finally been recognised for the difficult role they fulfill on very limited income. For too long now they have been the poor cousins.

We are also very pleased that GRG’s Founder Di Vivian will be on the Ministerial Reference Group that will sort out how the funds will be allocated.”

Ends

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