Relationships Australia offers support and resources for families, acknowledging their changing nature and highlighting some of the stresses and strains on grandparents who may be taking on primary responsibility for the upbringing of their grandchildren.
Grandparents can also find themselves strained financially should they have to bear the costs of supporting children when their own incomes may be limited or fixed. This stress, plus the social costs of being left with such responsibility that their own lives and interests get put on hold as well as their need to access government services and, sometimes, legal aid, can all add up to a very different life than the one they’d imagined for themselves.
Relationships Australia estimate that around 12,000 children between 0 and 14- years-old are living with their grandparents but not their parents, but these figures don’t include situations where children are living apart from parents due to Family Court Orders, or the informal caregiving arrangements many families now have. For more information on Relationships Australia’s services and publications, click here