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Information for grandparents.

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Centrelink Willows is hosting an information seminar on Wednesday, 15 November for grandparents who have taken on responsibility as carers for their grandchildren. Member for Herbert, Peter Lindsay, said hundreds of grandparents in the Townsville

area have assumed the role of primary carers, taking over from the children’s parents. “This can be because both parents have died or are unable to care for their children,” Mr Lindsay said. “Grandparents are often asked to step in and care for children in these unfortunate circumstances, but there are serious legal, financial and personal implications which need to be taken into account. “There can be issues of legal custody, not to mention the expense of raising the grandchildren which can quickly deplete superannuation savings and may force grandparents into debt in some circumstances. “The Centrelink information seminar being at Centrelink’s Willows office next Wednesday (15 November) from 10am will include experts on family law, financial management, Centrelink payments and services as well as the Twin Cities Grandparents Support Group. “There may be a range of payments grandparents can access to help raise their grandchildren such as Family Tax Benefit. “Grandparents who get an income support payment, such as Age Pension or Parenting Payment, can also get the Grandparent rate of Child Care Benefit which covers the full cost of child care for up to 50 hours per child per week.” Mr Lindsay said the seminar is designed to be practical, supportive and informative with plenty of time for questions and interaction with other grandparents in similar circumstances. “Caring can be very rewarding but it can also be stressful. These types of events can provide some relief by allowing people to share their stories and receive quality advice and assistance,” he said. For further information and bookings for this free seminar, contact Mark Trotman at Centrelink Willows on (07) 4760 9330.