Greens release policy to support grandcarers

WA Greens senator Rachel Siewert.
WA Greens senator Rachel Siewert.

THE Greens have released a plan to support grandcarers that includes grandparent carers being exempt from activity requirements for Newstart and supporting calls for the Family Tax Benefit to follow the child’s residence, instead of the carer.

If successful at the Federal Election, the Greens will also provide $50 million over four years for out-of-home projects that support First Nations families at risk of entering the system.

The party wants any new government to investigate the development of an ongoing allowance for grandparent carers.

Greens Senator Rachel Siewert said grandparent carers often lacked access to the same financial assistance available to foster carers.

“This means that many grandparent carers experience poverty and financial stress,” she said.

“The Australian Greens will ensure grandparent carers are adequately supported and recognised in taking on primary responsibility for their grandchildren.

“We support a rights-based, child-centred approach to child protection.”

Greens candidate for Stirling Judith Cullity said grandparents often found it difficult to access services and supports because the system did not recognise their caring relationship.

“The Greens support creating an easy system of identification that recognises grandparent carers as a child’s primary carer to help facilitate access to essential services including Centrelink, Medicare, education and child care,” she said.

“Grandchildren being cared for by their grandparents often have complex care needs and experience a range of issues including abandonment, anger management and grief.

“The Greens are committed to ensuring grandparents have access to practical supports in their daily parenting roles and adequate respite services to give them a break when they need it.”