Budget boost for grandcarers

Grandcarer Karen Cassidy, of Kenwick, at Wanslea.
Grandcarer Karen Cassidy, of Kenwick, at Wanslea.

Wanslea, which has an office in Belmont, offers support for grandparents who are full-time carers of their grandchildren.

The $500,000 will be allocated over four years.

Wanslea executive manager Stephan Lund said the funds would be spent on what the grandcarers see themselves needing.

‘This is a significant boost for grandcarer families that really struggle financially, relying on pensions or small incomes,’ he said.

‘The children in many of these families have had a difficult start in life, including bereavement or parental issues related to drugs and alcohol. They may have had disrupted schooling and not had good educational opportunities.

‘Grandparents often tell us they feel guilty because they can’t afford to give the grandchildren the types of experiences their friends at school are having.

‘Every six months, we survey grandcarers to ask them what they could benefit from, providing opportunities for grandparents and their grandchildren to go together to camps and retreats for a short break, providing educational support such as tutoring and counselling opportunities for children.’

Seniors and Volunteering Minister Tony Simpson said Wanslea was a vital organisation that helped thousands in their time of need.

‘This funding will provide valuable services to reduce stress and social isolation for our State’s grandcarers, who take care of around 4000 children,’ he said.

‘This could include short breaks for respite and other activities which help grandcarers spend time with like-minded people and develop coping strategies.’