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Grandparents raising grandchildren to receive extra funding

MEDIA RELEASE
 
Sunday December 15th 2013
 
Grandparents raising grandchildren to receive extra funding
 
Social Development Minister Paula Bennett has today announced new payments for carers receiving the Unsupported Child’s Benefit. As part of the Government’s commitment to deliver an extra $35 million in additional assistance as promised in the White Paper on vulnerable children, carers will receive an establishment grant of $350 and School & Year Start-up payments ranging from $250 to $400 depending on age of the children.
 
The package of assistance is based on the recommendations made by a Ministerial Reference Group set up earlier in the year.
 
Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Trust NZ Chairperson/Founder and Ministerial Reference Group member Diane Vivian says “we are absolutely delighted with this announcement. We have worked long and hard to secure this much needed extra funding. It recognises the financial burden experienced by grandparents when the children first arrive and the additional burdens at the start of school years”. 

The extra financial assistance will take the form of an Establishment Grant of $350 for costs related to settling the child into the home. This is to be paid no more than once to each carer for their child, when the carer is first granted Orphan’s Benefit or Unsupported Child’s Benefit for that child.

There is also a School and Year Start-up Payment ranging from $400 to $550 depending on age which will be paid annually in January to existing carers to cover costs related to schooling and other annual expenses.



Further there is an Extraordinary Care Fund for financial assistance in situations of hardship that seriously impact on the child’s wellbeing, or to support children showing promise.
 
Mrs Vivian says “We are particularly pleased with the establishment of the extraordinary care fund as it recognises the severe challenges faced by grandparents raising grandchildren with special needs”.
 
The Establishment Grant and School and Start-up payment will be available from January 13th 2014. The Extraordinary Care Fund will be implemented from July 2014.
 
ENDS

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