Grandcarer shares struggles with Prime Minister

Grandcarer Jan Standen handing over letters to Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
Grandcarer Jan Standen handing over letters to Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

GRANDCARER Jan Standen personally delivered 150 letters written by grandparent carers to Prime Minister Scott Morrison in Koondoola on Tuesday.

The letters highlighted the struggles faced by grandcarers and the legislation changes needed to ensure they received the same Centrelink payments and subsidies as foster carers.

“I just asked him if he realised that grandparents represented the highest number of people caring for children living in out of home care,” Ms Standen said.

“I told him if he passed all those legislation changes I could guarantee him 70,000 votes.”

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Ms Standen also handed over a letter written by her and signed by other grandcarers who were at the Liberal Party meet and greet with Cowan candidate Isaac Stewart.

The letter asked for changes to the census to gather data on the number of grandparent and kinship carers and for grandcarers to be recognised as formal carers.

“The Centrelink system needs to be fairer,” Ms Standen said.

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Liz Lee (Girrawheen), Sharyne De Young (Marangaroo), Raewyn Watene (Landsdale), Jan Standen (Heathridge) and Kaye Bendle (Dianella). Picture: Martin Kennealey www.communitypix.com.au d489561

The 70-year-old Heathridge resident cares for her three grandchildren and was among 295 grandcarers who participated in a study run by Scarborough-based family services provider Wanslea with Curtin University and ECU researchers.

The Lotterywest-funded study found that one-third of survey participants were living in rental accommodation, 62 per cent were living on $50,000 or less per year and half could not pay their bills on time.

It also found they cared for an average of three children and while the majority were satisfied with their role, 26 per cent found satisfaction was irrelevant because they felt they did not have a choice.

#afairerfutureforgrandchildren

There are more than 5000 grandcarers in WA but they are not eligible for the same Centrelink payments and subsidies as foster carers.

Community News is joining Wanslea’s campaign for a fairer future for grandchildren to achieve better support and funding.

Sign a letter of support at www.wanslea.asn.au/wanslea/whats_new or email ceaston@wanslea.asn.au.