Support group for Grandparents as Parents

Kate Washington MP, Carol Mills, Cheryl Turner, Gavin Green and Heather Barber from the GAPS group.
Kate Washington MP, Carol Mills, Cheryl Turner, Gavin Green and Heather Barber from the GAPS group.


IT is said that the best parents are promoted to grandparents, but sometimes those grandparents then double back and take on the role of parenting their grandchildren.

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The reasons for this can vary greatly from a death in the family, to the children being made wards of the state and placed in their care.

The support these grandparents need is so specific, and often it takes those in the know to be able to truly support another grandparent on their journey.

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

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

The GAPS group meets on Friday mornings during school terms at the Anglican Church on Sturgeon Street, Raymond Terrace.

They have been running for over ten years now

Group member Gavin Breen told News Of The Area, “We just want grandparent and kinship carers to know we are here, and that they’re welcome to join us.”

‘We’re a friendly bunch, and there’s a lot of information and advocacy we can provide to help you make the experience of raising these children much smoother.”

“We can even help you advocate for yourself and the children with support services, agency meetings, child protection case management issues and legal battles,” he said.

The group would like all new carers to be given a pamphlet about the GAPS group when they very first gain custody of their grandchildren.

Many grandparent carers don’t even know the group exists.

Families who had grandchildren for years weren’t aware it existed, and reflect that they made huge improvements just on their knowledge base coming to the group.

Local member, Kate Washington, is a strong advocate for the group, and is looking to help the group this year with bringing about change and awareness,

Please feel free to drop down and chat with them, or just turn up to one of their weekly meetings and join in.

For further information, please contact Claire Bell on 49831880.


By Rachael VAUGHAN

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