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Major Report for Release on 7 September 2016


Major Report for Release on 7 September 2016

The empty nest is refilled: the joys and tribulations of raising grandchildren in Aotearoa

The Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Trust NZ has been supporting grandparent families throughout New Zealand since 1998 and provides vital support services to full-time grandparent and whanau (kin) caregivers to help empower them to provide a safe, secure and nurturing home that protects and promotes the well-being and development of the vulnerable children and young people in their care.

For the majority of these children they’ve come from homes where violence, mental illness, abuse and drug or alcohol abuse has put the children at serious risk.

The alternative to grandparent or extended whanau care would have been foster care.

From our work, we know very well the joys, the struggles, the lack of resources and difficulties that these families face.

This year, funded by the Lotteries Community Research Fund, we have been able to carry out a large-scale research project on the lived realities of over 1100 caregivers raising grandchildren in Aotearoa today.

The research answers questions about who the families are, their finances and living conditions, their employment, the health of the caregivers, getting support from Work and Income, Child Youth and Family and other matters.

It answers questions about the children: 1350 of them, including involvement with Child Youth and Family, their legal status, access to their parents, physical and psychological health and education.

This is one of the biggest studies of its kind ever carried out in New Zealand. Its findings will influence policy, especially around upcoming changes affecting vulnerable children and young people.

The preliminary findings of this major study will be released next week at the Hear Our Voices: Children, Grandparents and Whanau Caregivers Have Their Say! 4thNational GRG Caregivers and Members Summit 2016.

This 1 ½ day Summit is being held at the Novotel Hotel, Ellerslie, Auckland, 72-112 Green Lane East, Ellerslie, Auckland 1051 commencing at 9:00am on Wednesday 7 September 2016, with the preliminary findings of the Research released at 9.50am by Dr Liz Gordon of Pukeko Research Ltd. The final written report is due for release in November 2016.

For full details of the Summit programme and speakers please go to http://www.grg.org.nz/site/grg/files/2016%20Summit/2016%20GRG%20Summit%20Brochure%20-%20web.pdf.

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