Extend Payments To Grandparents

07 Jan 2008 archivemedia

Increased payments to foster parents should have included grandparents caring full-time for their grandchildren.

Acting Shadow Families and Communities Minister Michelle Lensink said an estimated 8000 grandparent families were caring for their grandchildren in South Australia.

“Grandparent families cannot live on love alone and desperately need access to extra Government assistance,” Ms Lensink said.

“Financial payments to foster carers should have included grandparents caring full-time for their grand kids.

“Unlike many foster carers, many grandparents are too elderly or too ill to work and have limited opportunities to earn extra money.”

Ms Lensink said the cost and level of payments to grandparents will need to be examined.

Currently, grandparents receive limited State support with many having to rely on Centrelink payments.

Ms Lensink said the Government’s increase in foster payments was long over due.

“For six years the Government has neglected foster carers who have being leaving the system in droves disillusioned at the lack of recognition,” Ms Lensink said.

“Foster parents are a selfless group whose extraordinary work allows a child to grow in a safe environment.

“The lack of government assistance up to now has meant that many foster parents are forced to dip into their own pockets to pay for the basics for children in their care.”