Life throws curve balls. Most people never imagine or plan for having to become a primary carer later in life. Although this may present challenges, it can also be a rewarding experience.
Grandparents who assume fulltime parental care of their grandchildren often do so for a range of complicated reasons. In a 2014 Senate Committee Report on the issue for Federal Parliament, Senator Rachel Siewert commented:
“Very often, when grandparents are caring for children, there have been serious issues – including those associated with the loss of a parent or parents, trauma, relationship breakdowns or other very serious issues.”
If you find yourself in the position of grandparent carer, there is help available to improve what can be a challenging situation.
Financial Support is Available
Grandparent carers often find themselves in need of emotional and financial support. As they are well aware, the cost of raising a child is significant, especially when both grandparents have retired. The Senate Report highlighted that “many grandparent carers don’t know what supports are available or struggle to navigate the maze of services, supports and interviews to prove their claims”.
The Grandparent Child Care Benefit is available to those who pass the income test and are the primary providers of ongoing daily care. To see if you meet the eligibility criteria click here or call us on 02 9683 3400.
It takes a Community to Raise a Child
The complicated issues around becoming a grandparent carer can lead to stress and anxiety.
Perhaps a sudden phone call alerted you to the fact that your grandchild was in need of care, at a time when you were planning for your retirement. The relationship with the child’s biological parents may be strained or a traumatic event could have occurred.
This will likely impact not only your feelings but also those of the child – who often express feelings in actions.
You are not alone. As well as financial support from the government, there are community groups and carer support groups where you can share your feelings and talk to others in similar positions on how best to manage situations.
Embrace the positives
The benefits of raising your grandchildren are countless. It will give you the opportunity to enjoy their achievements, teach them about your family history and feel assured they are safe. You also have more life experience. Applying your acquired wisdom can be a rewarding journey for both yourself and your grandchildren.
Zest Care has over 15 years of In-Home Child Care experience and has provided tailored care to a range of families across NSW, including those who are able to access care under the Grandparent Child Care Benefit scheme. Find out more about how Zest Care can help you start living the life you want today.