Pat Conaghan hears concerns from Grandparent and Kinship Carers

Member for Cowper Pat Conaghan joined the Grandparents and Kinship Carers group meeting to hear about their role.

THE GRANDPARENTS and Kinship Carers support group of Coffs Harbour welcomed Member for Cowper Pat Conaghan and Electorate Officer Liz Newberry for morning tea to chat about their role and their concerns on Wednesday, 16 November at the Coffs Harbour CWA rooms.

“This group provides a wonderful support network to the whole family as they try to navigate their way through the difficult situation of taking on a primary carer’s role for their grandchildren,” Joy Watson, the coordinator of the Grandparents and Kinship Carers group told News Of The Area.

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The group can help with advocacy, understanding and support for new and existing carers during their journey.

Mr Congahan listened to many of the carers’ individual stories and has taken letters of concern to the Minister of Families, Communities and Disabilities.

“Ours is only one small group hoping for change, and we’d like to see more support,” Joy said.

“Especially encasing services that help with respite, face-to-face training on how to approach court hearings, raising kids in today’s society, homelessness and of course more financial support.”

The Coffs group of Grandparents and Kinship Carers comes together once a month to support each other, offer ideas and to enjoy getting out and sharing each other’s company, meeting at the CWA rooms in Dalley Street.

Often a guest speaker will come along to share information and guidance to help members tackle pressing issues or to navigate confusing government requirements.

“We have social family days with the kids and much more,” said Joy.

“We have new carers constantly accessing our group who are in need of support and not knowing where to start and where to go.

“Becoming a Grandparent and Kinship Carer is not easy and often not our choice.

“For Pat to come and listen to some of our concerns was a way of putting our voices out there with someone who was willing to listen,” she said.

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