12 November 2014 | General Interest
The Senate Committee inquiring into Grandparents who take primary responsibility for raising their grandchildren has released a number of recommendations pertaining to the needs of grandparents and grandchildren who live in these formal or informal care arrangements.
Given the relatively high number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander grandparents raising grandchildren, a range of recommendations relating specifically to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have been made. A number of specific recommendations relating to people living in regional and remote areas have also been made.
It has been recommended that the Department of Human Services (DHS) reviews the grandparent advisor positions, specifically number and geographical region, to ensure the needs of grandparents living in remote and rural ares are being met.
The committee has also recommended the Australian Government consider reserving funding for community and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander legal services to help ensure grandparents who are raising their grandchildren have better access to legal assistance.
A number of recommendations have been made in regard to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). In particular, the committee has recommended that the ABS start compiling longitudinal data for grandparent-headed families, with an aim to identify important support and services needed by grandparents caring for grandchildren who have a disability and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander grandparents caring for their children.
A recommendation has also been made that the Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS) conduct a separate qualitative study on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander grandparents bringing up grandchildren to inform government policies and practices.
Additionally, the committee has provided a recommendation that COAG, along with state-based service providers, make supports and services widely available, including for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander grandparents who are raising their grandchildren.