Although society has changed in many ways over the years, the role of caring for grandchildren is still a large part of people's lives. We have included this page to assist grandparents in their caring and to let you know what services, support and information is out there specifically for you and your grandchildren.
We have included some 'home grown' websites as well as overseas that together produce a wealth of information and support for grandparents.
Grandparents raising grandchildren
Some grandparents are called upon to take a more active role in the lives of their grandchildren, caring for them when there parents are unable to. Grandparents raising grandchildren is a Charitable Trust operating throughout New Zealand providing support services to grandparents who are raising their grandchildren on a full-time basis. They have a very useful website with information on how to cope with the journey ahead of you.
The Grandparents raising Grandchildren Trust has just published the report of the findings from their 2016 Grandparent and Whanau Carer Survey conducted in May 2016. "The empty nest is refilled: the joys and tribulations of raising grandchildren in Aotearoa" is an 110 page report by Dr Liz Gordon of Pukeko Research Ltd.
Click here to read a pdf of the report
For more information on raising grandchildren read the "grandparents raising grandchildren" handbook, or visit their website www.grg.org.nz
Ask Gran Not Google (Australia)
This in an inter-generational project that encourages children to seek the wisdom and life experience of a senior before searching the internet for answers. By doing so, children gain insight into the valuable role seniors can play in their lives and society. Students across the country are being urged to skip the internet for answers and talk to older Australians instead.
The Ask Gran Not Google program works to encourage young Australians to put down their smartphones and to seek wisdom from elders instead. 25,000 students are taking part in meetings between young at old at 151 schools across Australia.
Grandparents' experience of WINZ
Liz Gordon explores the experiences of grandparents raising grandchildren in getting income support from work and income offices in New Zealand. From the policy of providing financial support for children unable to live with their own parents, and the practice of being a grandparent looking after such children, lies a complex set of systems of which grandparents were often extremely critical.
Read more here.
Surrogate Grandparents NZ aims to bring together families and "Surrogate Grandparents" to those who feel they may benefit from such a union. Whatever your circumstances, Surrogate Grandparents NZ hope to bridge gaps, by providing support, friendships and fun through the uniting of strong family partnerships.
Māori grandparents speak from the heart
Tūpuna - Ngā Kaitiaki Mokopuna: A resource for Māori grandparents
This resource explores the experiences of Māori grandparents in New Zealand. Drawing on interviews and focus groups held with Māori grandparents, the resource describes the pleasures and pressures of grandparenting and the significant role many grandparents play in the lives of whānau. This includes providing support, sharing resources, and teaching te reo, whakapapa, history and tikanga. Many grandparents mentioned the aroha that they feel and express towards their mokopuna, and the joy of nurturing and observing their development. The relationships between grandparents and mokopuna generate significant benefits for both generations. Grandparents show resilience and flexibility in adapting and responding to changing family dynamics and other changes. Some of the pressures and challenges they experience could be alleviated through the provision of information and support tailored to their needs. Although Māori grandparents share many common characteristics, they also have differing ages, experiences and expectations and this diversity must be reflected in policy decisions that may affect their lives.
To view the full report or download the pdf click here
Visit the Superu website
New research into the pleasures and pressures of being a grandparent in NZ
Most grandparents are faring well, but a small number are struggling - in particular grandparents raising grandchildren, according to new research.
Changing Roles - The pleasures and pressures of being a grandparent in New Zealand paints an intricate picture of grandparents' lives, views, and needs.
This research provides an overview of the many and varying roles that grandparents have. It was undertaken as part of the Families Commission's role to listen to, and report on the issues that matter to everyday New Zealand families.
The grandparents who took part were aged from their early thirties upwards.
Download the full research report by visiting the superu website
Links to New Zealand websites
Age Concern New Zealand
Age Concern New Zealand has has an informative factsheet titled "The Changing Face of Grandparenting". "The relationship between a grandparent and grandchild can be mutually fulfilling and rewarding for both the older person and the younger child. Grandparenting is not necessarily confined to the natural grandparents: a family friend or a neighbour sometimes fulfils this important role."
Barnardos has worked in New Zealand for more than 30 years within the community to help New Zealand children receive the care, education and support they need in order to grow and reach their potential. Barnardos provide a range of care, education and support services developed specifically for New Zealand children and their families.
Child Matters is a registered charitable trust* dedicated to preventing harm to children in New Zealand. They provide guidance, advice, education and support to those in a position to act to protect children. Their training and education programmes provide adults with essential skills, and just as importantly the confidence, to intervene when a child needs help. To date, Child Matters has trained over 15,000 adults in New Zealand in how to recognise and respond to child abuse. Their training is NZQA recognised.
This is a home-based programme that helps parents create experiences for their children that lay the foundation for success in school and later life. The programme was designed specifically for those parents who may not feel comfortable in their own abilities to teach their children.
Te Kōhanga Reo
Te Kōhanga Reo is a total immersion te reo Māori whānau (family) programme for mokopuna (young children) from birth to six years of age to be raised within its whānau Māori, where the language of communication will be Māori. The operation and decision making of each Kōhanga Reo is the responsibility of the whole whānau within the guidelines set down by Te Kōhanga Reo National Trust Board. The Trust board and the whānau Kōhanga Reo administer the kaupapa to ensure the safety and well-being of the mokopuna and the whānau and to ensure the survival of te reo Māori.
Office of the Commissioner for Children
The Office of the Commissioner for Children was established under the Children, Young Persons and Their Families Act 1989 to monitor and review policy and practice under the Children, Young Persons and Their Families Act and to promote the welfare of children and young people and ensure that their rights are recognised.
Playcentre is a Parent Co-operative that is unique to New Zealand. It provides Early Childhood Education as well as Parent Education modules on all aspects of children's learning. Playcentre is based on the importance of parents as educators of their own children, and views children as people who are strong and capable and who are competent to make their own choices about how and where to play (child initiated play). It is internationally recognised.
Plunket's national nursing adviser, Angela Baldwin, said in a media release that grandparents had a positive role in families and communities in New Zealand. "Grandparents are special people. Even though many young families may not live as close to their extended family as they once did retired people and grandparents are a very important part of a caring society and contribute a great deal to making our communities friendlier and more supportive places to live in."
Safekids Aotearoa is a service of Starship Children's Health, established in the early 1990's to help reduce the high rates of preventable injury to children. The website has safety information on a wide variety of topics as well as a home safety checklist.
Links to overseas websites
Grandtimes offers an array of thought provoking and interesting topics at the touch of your mouse, including