Hank Jongen is General Manager at the Department of Human Services.
A nationwide network of Grandparent Advisers can assist grandparents and non-parent carers providing ongoing care for children, with access to payments and tailored support.
It can understandably be a very daunting and overwhelming experience for people, particularly grandparents, when they unexpectedly find themselves responsible for a child’s ongoing, full-time care.
There are many reasons why someone can become a long-term carer for a child who isn’t their own. If one of your clients find themselves in this situation, it is important for them to know help is there.
The Grandparent Advisers will work closely with your client to assess their situation and give them information that meets their needs. They can help them to find and apply for payments that they may be eligible for to assist with the care of the child or children, such as Family Tax Benefit, Double Orphan Pension, or Child Care Subsidy. They can also check to see if your client might qualify for help with health care costs.
Grandparent Advisers can refer grandparent carers to federal and state government services, or community providers in their local area that can offer them additional support. They can even link them to some of the Government’s other departmental services and book appointments to speak with social workers, Multicultural Service Officers, Indigenous Customer Service Officers, or Financial Information service officers.
For more information on Grandparent Advisers, call the Grandparent Adviser Line on 1800 245 965.
You and your client can also use the Payment and Service Finder tool on the Department of Human Services’ website to check for any payments your clients may be eligible to receive. Clients can get a head start on claiming a payment by firstly setting up a Centrelink and Medicare online account and then linking these to their myGov account.
If they apply for a payment, they will need to provide the Department of Human Services with documents to support their claim, such as formal agreements like a court order or care arrangements for each child. They will also need to provide documents to show when a child is in their care, such as school attendance and health records.
For more information, search ‘Grandparent Advisers’ by clicking here.