Empowering grandparent and whānau care families to raise resilient, healthy children and families achieving positive outcomes in their lives
Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Trust (GRG) provides support services to over 5,700 full-time grandparent and whanau caregivers empowering them to provide a safe, secure and nurturing home that protects and promotes the well-being and development of the vulnerable children and grandchildren in their care.
In 95% of cases the children are in grandparent or whanau care as a result of a traumatic incident or family breakdown; being circumstances where they can’t be cared for by their parents. The parents’ substance abuse, mental illness, violence and neglect are often factors which continue to adversely affect the children and their caregivers for a long time - sometimes even for life.
If it weren't for their grandparents or other relatives/whanau stepping in and taking care of these children they would be in foster care. Yet, although they are doing the same care giving job a foster carer would do, they cannot access the same financial and support services available to foster carers.
Grandparent and whanau caregivers need but struggle to get access to, and assistance from, specialists and professionals to help them deal with the short and long term adverse consequences of the abuse the children have suffered before coming into their care. This can be because of the cost and ironically because the children are not classed as being in state care and eligible for those support services free of charge.
Our research shows over half of these children suffer from physical and/or psychological and emotional disabilities often as a result of the abuse and neglect they experienced while in their parents care.
Raising these children is far more complex and difficult than it is raising a child in normal circumstances.
GRG provides national and local support through an 0800 GRANDS helpline, local support groups and field staff with specialised knowledge and skills to assist caregivers as well as caregiver education, training and critical information and support at each stage of the caregivers journey.
Please help us to support the caregivers who are raising our vulnerable children so that they can grow up and live healthy, constructive and fulfilling lives.
Children are our taonga - Children are precious and their caregivers are the guardians of their future.
He taonga nga tamariki, ko o ratou tupuna nga kaitiaki o to ratou heke mai
Please visit our website for more information: www.grg.org.nz
Our mission is to provide specialised services and programmes that empower and strengthen grandparent and whānau care families so they can raise resilient and healthy tamariki and rangatahi.
‘SALT’ (Simply Acquired and Learned Techniques™) 4 Caregivers 12 October 2021
Our Research studies published in 2005, 2009 and 2016 revealed that taking on the care of the children typically causes significant stress, economically and financially along with social isolation.
Our Lotteries Funded Research in 2016 showed that 41% of children in grandparent care are diagnosed with a psychological disorder or illness, impacting on the child's behavior. Some children are on the Autism Spectrum and others have been affected by their parent's drug or alcohol abuse while in utero and for some it is a result of past trauma, neglect and abuse. In each case the needs of the child are complex and their behavior can be troubling and challenging for their grandparents to manage. One of the key recommendations arising from all our studies is the importance of ongoing education, and practical learning experiences for caregivers.
The ‘SALT’ (Simply Acquired and Learned Techniques™) 4 Caregivers, one-day workshop programme is a free training programme for GRG members that was developed in response to this need.
This programme has been uniquely designed for grandparent and whanau caregivers, because it recognizes the particular family dynamics experienced in these sorts of family breakdowns, the stage of life for the caregivers, generational differences between the grandparent whanau caregivers and the children. Recognizing these differences enables the participants to share with others who face a similar circumstance, helping them to forge bonds of friendship and support with other participants.
This workshop programme offers caregivers with a practical insight and understanding of the impact of past trauma on a child or young person and how to effectively parent a child who may be exhibiting troubling or challenging behavior, guiding them safely to a point where the child feels safe, secure and able to respond from a position of reason rather than fear, anxiety or anger.
What our members say about SALT
“Such a worthwhile programme, with lots of useful strategies. I had 4 sessions with a child psychologist who was not able to give me anything like what I got from SALT.”
“This training really gave me a better understanding of how these very damaged kids behaved and how to understand how to help them, it also gave me support from other people in the same position as myself and sometimes just knowing that you are not alone can give you an extra boost to continue on the very challenging journey that you and your family have been on and what lies ahead.”
In the following video our Papakura and Pukekohe Support Coordinators, Shirley Afoa and Anne Doddrell talk about the SALT programme and the benefits of the programme from their experience.