Financial and other support options are available for Sunshine Coast grandparents who have taken responsibility as primary carers for their grandchildren.
Minister for Human Services Michael Keenan said the Grandparent Adviser program recognises the unique challenges grandparent and non-parent carers face when assuming the role of caring for children.
“The Government recognises many grandparents may find themselves financially strained by the costs of supporting a child, and may not be aware of the financial support options available.”
The department’s Grandparent Advisers, available Australia-wide, can help navigate the payments and services that may provide support for grandparent and other non-parent carers,” Mr Keenan said.
Mr Ted O’Brien MP, Member for Fairfax said Grandparent Advisers answered more than 18,000 calls last year from grandparents seeking advice and met with more than 300 local organisations and grandparent advocacy groups to increase awareness of the support and services available.
“Advisers will discuss a grandparent’s circumstances in order to advise which payments might be suitable, and help them identify support available through federal, state and community service providers.
“They may be eligible for a range of Australian Government financial support such as Family Tax Benefit and Child Care Benefit or Paid Parental Leave; and also supplementary payments and benefits like Rent Assistance, Health Care Cards and a lower threshold of the Medicare Safety Net,” Mr O’Brien said.
Grandparent Advisers work alongside the department’s other specialists such as social workers, Financial Information Officers and Indigenous Specialist Officers who can offer additional support.
Grandparent and non-parent carers can call the Grandparent Adviser Line on 1800 245 965 or here for advice and assistance.
What is the role of Grandparent Advisers?
- provide tailored information about payments and support services based on the circumstances of families
- arrange appointments for non-parent carers with specialist staff, including social workers
- arrange referrals to federal, state and community service providers.
Grandparent Advisers are available to help all non-parent carers, regardless of whether they are currently receiving payments or services from the department.
Non-parent carers and children in their care may require additional support while adjusting to changes in their circumstances. The department has specialist staff to assist including what to do if grandparents find themselves unexpectedly taking on full-time care for their grandchild, and what payments are available for eligible grandparent carers.