According to the Raising Children Network website, 22 500 families in Australia are made up of grandparents raising their grandchildren, usually as a result of a family crisis of some kind.
Becoming the primary carer for a grandchild(ren) is often sudden and unexpected. Retirement plans make way for the responsibility of rearing a second family. On top of the emotional stress for all concerned, there may be financial and legal difficulties as well.
Information and Referral
In South Australia several organisations provide free information, advocacy and referral for grandparents raising grandchildren:
Grandparents as Parents Project
Contact Coordinator, tel. 8209 6969
For grandparents who are fulltime carers of their grandchildren and live in the northern or western metropolitan Adelaide. Produces a free six-monthly newsletter, The Coffee Break
Grandparents for Grandchildren SA
L2 345 King William Street Adelaide SA 5000, tel. 8212 1937, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
This government-funded volunteer organisation promotes the role and needs of grandparents and grandchildren, undertakes public awareness campaigns and liaises with state and federal governments on relevant matters. It can also assist grandparents to maintain their protection of grandchildren where return to their parents’ control would not be appropriate. The organisation can also support grandparents in their attempts to maintain contact with grandchildren.
Commonwealth Government’s Family Law Hotline
Tel. 1800 050 321 (freecall), Mon – Fri 8am – 8pm.
The Family Law Act may provide some access rights under certain conditions.
The following groups (with the exception of the Library Playtime at Peterhead which operates more informally) offer personal support and information, via regular meetings, to grandparents who are either rearing their grandchildren or are separated from a grandchild through divorce, family conflict or loss.
Camden Park Support group
Address: Camden Park Community Centre, 7 Carlisle St, Camden Park 5038
Contact: Julia, tel. 8271 4424
Meets first Friday of every month, 10.30am – 12.30pm
Christies Downs Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Support Group
Address: Hackham West Community Centre, cnr Warsaw Cr/Majorca Rd, Hackham West 5163
Contact: Jen, tel. 8305 9223
Meets first Monday of every month, 12.30pm – 2.30pm
Elders Minini United (EMU)
Address: Elders Village, 2 Oldford St, Davoren Park SA 5113
Contact : Northern Carers Network Inc., Aboriginal Team, tel. 8284 0388
Meets Monthly on a Friday during school terms, 11am – 2pm. Child care available
Fleurieu Support Group
Address: Victor Harbor (venue to be confirmed)
Contact: Leann, Fleurieu Families, tel. 8551 0542
Meets last Wednesday of every month, 10.30am – 12noon
Comment: A peer support network of Aboriginal grandmothers who advocate regarding issues affecting their children, grandchildren and their community.
Address: Parks Community Centre, cnr Cowan/Trafford Sts, Angle Park 5010
Contact: Nunga Health Team, Diana Grose, tel. 8240 9633.
Meets alternate Monday 11am – 3.00pm
Address: St Luke’s Church Hall, 84 Hargrave St, Peterhead 5016
Contact: Jean, tel. 8268 4427
Meets every Tuesday, 10am – 11.30am. Carers of children attending playgroup are required to stay. Informal 1:1 discussion with other parents re grandparenting issues encouraged. Extensive library of books, cassette tapes, videos and DVDs on family, parenting and grandparenting issues as well as numerous children’s play material available for loan at no charge
Modbury Raising Grandchildren Support Group
Address: 436 Montague Rd, Modbury Nth 5092
Contact: Kathryn, tel. 8241 9023
Meets last Friday of the month, 10.30am – 12.30pm
Peterhead – refer Library Playtime
Salisbury East Community Group
Address: Salisbury East Neighbourhood House Inc., 28 Smith Rd Salisbury East 5109
Contact: Ted, tel. 8288 0757
Meets third Tuesday of every month, 9.30am – 11.30am
The Salisbury Grandparents Group
Address: Marra Dreaming, Salisbury
Contact: Janice in the Aboriginal Team 8284 0388
Meets monthly on a Monday during school terms, 11 – 2pm. Child care available
Western Support Group
Address: Cheltenham Community Centre Inc., Stoud St North, Cheltenham 5014
Contact: John, tel. 8347 4684
Meets first Wednesday of every month, 10.00am – 12noon
For information about financial support available to grandparents and carers who raise and care for children.
Family Assistance Office
For information about the Grandparents Childcare Benefit.
For information about financial assistance and childcare services in your area.
Tel. free call 1800 670 305
For information about family law, go to the Legal Matters section.
Provides telephone information and support on child and youth health, parenting, development or behaviour concerns. Operates 24 hours, 7 days per week, tel. 1300 364 100
Information and referral regarding parenting. The website has a wealth of information including over 70 Parent Easy Guides.
Raising Children Network
The Australian parenting website
Youth and Parent Services
A counselling service to help sort out parent/adolescent conflict. Tel. (08) 8202 5160 (office hours).
Kids Help Line
24 hour phone service for young people. Tel. 1800 55 1800.