Friday, December 2, 2016

Raising grandchildren some resources and tips

Information for grandparents bringing up grandchildren, sometimes money is not what the adult children need, sometimes it is more of your time.

'When the children arrive': A resource book for kinship carers. Mirabel Foundation  A comprehensive guide covering all the issues, but particularly legal (Australian law not USA or Canadian law) and financial issues and offering contact information as well as information on the range of issues.

Grandfamilies: A resource guide for Western Australian grandparents raising grandchildren
An example of an excellent state resource and guide book.

Grandparents raising grandchildren: A compilation by About Seniors at Your Life Choices 
A concise guide to finding help with all the relevant issues, with contact information for support organisations and sources of legal and financial advice.

Grandparents caring for grandchildren: Grandparent advisers  Centrelink advises grandparents on the various financial supports that grandparents in different circumstances are entitled to. This is the major source of financial information and support for grandparents. The Centrelink website provides information on what is available, but a face-to-face interview is necessary to assess eligibility. There is also a list of the grandparent organisations in each state, with contact details.

Grandparents who spend regular time with their grandchildren

Below are some tips for service providers to assist grandparent who spend regular time with their grandchildren:

Make a list of community resources where grandparents and grandchildren can go in your local area and make it available to grandparents with whom you come in contact. 

Encourage your local council to print a brochure of resources and contact points for grandparents, as these differ from area to area.

The best source of company and support for grandparents who are providing regular care for preschoolers is playgroups, where grandparents and their grandchild can attend and meet grandparents and parents while the children play together. 

There are some 'grandparent only' playgroups, or grandparents support services can start one with the help of their state playgroup association.  Set up a grandparent support group for grandparents to get together. Depending on the need grandparents can meet regularly, occasionally, connect with each other by telephone and make their own decisions about what they want to do.

Children's story time at the local library - ring your local library for times.

Occasional care in community centres, neighbourhood houses, leisure centres, and some churches.

List and map the location of the local children's playgrounds as grandparents may be caring for grandchildren in the grandchild's home and not know where the best playgrounds are located. Note also where there are playgrounds which cater for children with disabilities.

Grandparenting education: Grandparents often want to know more about the way in which their grandchildren are being brought up and about discipline and child development as they feel that they are out of date. 

List sources of parenting information in your state or local area and find out if they run any grandparent groups. Groups for parents are not suitable for grandparents as their interests may conflict and grandparents can sound critical. 

Grandparents are usually particularly interested in issues of discipline (behaviour management) and child development. South Australia has a number of Parent Easy Guides on line which grandparents may find useful including No.12 Grandparenting (

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