It can be very challenging for a grandparent to step in and care for young children, especially if they are isolated from their community. Some, like Elaine*, may need some extra support to build a safe and happy home for their grandchildren.
We began working with Elaine and her grandsons, Ben (2) and Harry (3), when they were referred to The Benevolent Society by Family and Community Services (FaCS).
Following open discussions about the importance of culture, Elaine decided she was happy to work with a non-Aboriginal support team. From the outset she has been delighted with our cultural sensitivity and genuinely supportive, non-judgmental, approach.
Elaine’s goal was to create a stable environment for Ben and Harry so that they would be able to stay in her care. Our role was to make sure she got all the support she needed to achieve that goal.
Elaine faced some challenges, including a history of drug use up until 2016, and limited experience in parenting. She had also had difficulty in accessing appropriate housing for raising a young family.
Our Child & Family Services team worked with Elaine as she overcame these challenges, providing culturally appropriate support and helping her to build additional support networks within the local Aboriginal community.
Elaine was highly motivated to build on her parenting skills and ensure the safety and wellbeing of her young grandsons. She worked closely with both FaCS and her Benevolent Society team, maintaining frequent and open communication and welcoming us into her home.
Since our relationship with Elaine began, she has made several significant changes to keep herself, and her family, safe and well.
Elaine, Ben and Harry have moved into an appropriate safe family home. Since they came into Elaine’s care, she has made sure that the boys have never missed a medical appointment or a meeting with the team of support workers.
Elaine has built strong routines within the home, which include taking Harry to an occupational therapy playgroup every Wednesday, and both boys attending preschool every day. Ben and Harry have also attended a Dreamtime Dance Group weekly for one term and they also regularly attend many Aboriginal specific events with their extended family.
Elaine has also connected with the local Aboriginal Women’s group, where she is excited to volunteer her time wherever possible, working alongside others within the community.
If you would like to know more about our Child & Parent Support Services or other programs and activities run by The Benevolent Society, please call us on 1800 236 762.
*Names and images have been changed to protect members of the family