The Grandparents as Carers support group reach out to new members

Kate Washington, Clare Bell and Gavin Breen manning the stall this week.
Kate Washington, Clare Bell and Gavin Breen manning the stall this week.

The Grandparents As Carers support group (GAPS) was joined by our local MP, Kate Washington, at a market stall this week at Marketown to raise awareness of the existence of their group.

Children in foster care are often placed within ‘kinship’ placements, where the child is placed with family.

The Grandparents As Carers support group (GAPS) was set up to offer support and friendship to some of these carers.

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With the mass overcrowding of the child protection system, it is so easy for their carers to slip through the cracks, and miss out support that they need.

Group member, Gavin Breen, said the group has been running for nine years, yet they still regularly come across grandparent carers who did not know of their existence.

Gavin told News Of The Area, “People are also often nervous about coming to a meeting, and admitting out loud that their family is going through a tough time.”

Clare Bell spoke about the desire of the group to make carers, new and experienced, feel comfortable.
“We wanted carers to not be afraid to drop in and visit with us. We are a non-judgemental group of people in the same boat, and we are here to support,” she told News Of The Area.

Local member, Kate Washington, is a vocal supporter of the group, and is looking to help the group this year with bringing about change and awareness.

Kate told News Of The Area, “This wonderful group of people is doing wonderful things for the children in their care.”
“It is important that the role they play in the lives of these children is supported adequately and valued.”

The GAPS group meet on Fridays during school terms at 10:30am at the Anglican church on Sturgeon Street, Raymond Terrace.

For further information, please contact Claire Bell on 0427498318

By Rachael VAUGHAN

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