Kinship care made national headlines yesterday – 27 January 2021 – when 5 News ran a report on the increasing pressure kinship families are experiencing during the pandemic.
Kinship carers Shanayd and Wendy talk about their experiences including the lack of support available, and the emotional strain on their children.
Wendy who is in her 60s and with a heart condition explained “It’s causing (the children) anxiety because they’re thinking – if grandma’s not around who’s going to look after us?” going on to say, “you just get so tired… and seem to be fighting for everything. It’s demoralising.”
The report explained how this “already neglected group” were facing increasing pressure and lack of support, which leads to more families breaking down and more children ending up in care.
Between 2017 to 2019, 257 special guardianship orders broke down, which increased by a third to 350 in 2020 alone.
Shanayd asked: “It’s about time the government stepped up. They’re pushing for more families to take on their loved ones …but where is the specialist support for kinship carers?”
Watch Grandparents Plus CEO, Dr. Lucy Peake discuss on 5 News some of the common challenges kinship carers face, and what needs to change:
If you are a kinship carer in need of support, contact our advice team
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