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Grandparents For Grandchildren SA (GFGSA)

6 March 2019 UCF Comments Off

Supplementary Education and Sports Fund

GFGSA has been entirely operated by unpaid volunteers for 16 years and is the peak body for non-statutory Grandcarers and Kinship Carers in South Australia. It is the only organisation of its kind in Australia with a growing list of clients currently numbering in excess of 13,000 SA family members.

There is no substantial support of any kind for Grandcarers and Kinship Carers (unlike the foster care system) and 54% of all children in out-of-home care live with their grandparents who receive no financial assistance from Government or state authorities.

GFGSA is an early intervention service working in a practical way to prevent at risk children from entering the statutory child protection system (foster, residential and commercial care) and keeping them within their extended families where practicable.

Its objectives are:

  1. To make a positive difference to the welfare of children in out-of-home care, through sustainable long-term outcomes.
  2. In so doing, to provide information, training, advocacy and support services to Grandcarers and Kinship Carers who have taken on the role of primary carer of the children.

Whilst the Grandcarers want to provide the best possible care for their grandchildren, their own health and well-being must be preserved to enable this to happen. In most cases they require financial support.

The purpose of the project is to financially assist struggling Grandcarers to purchase essential education-related items for their grandchildren in order for them to remain at school and make the most of their educational opportunities.

Growing up in disadvantaged circumstances can compromise children’s readiness to learn. Children living in financially disadvantaged circumstances have fewer chances to extend their learning opportunities because their Grandcarers cannot afford to purchase the materials, experiences and services that facilitate positive development.

GFGSA clients fall overwhelmingly into this disadvantaged category. Having the capacity to support young children in these areas could make a compellingly positive impact on learning outcomes.

GFGSA’s clients will either apply direct to GFGSA or be recommended by their individual GFGSA Carer Advocate (CA), to receive small amounts of funding to purchase essential educational items and activities.

GFGSA applied to UCF for a grant of $2,000 to bolster the Supplementary Education and Sports Fund and the directors were pleased to award a grant for this purpose. GFGSA were previously awarded a UCF grant in 2017.