At COTA NSW we take great interest in many issues, including the persistence of domestic violence. Given this, we were interested to learn that the NSW education syllabus will be amended to help children better understand domestic violence and to identify, report and protect themselves and others from such abuse. Changes to the syllabus, which were announced by the Minister for the Prevention of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, Pru Goward, occur after a teenaged girl campaigned to see community awareness of domestic violence bolstered.
This welcome move received considerable media coverage in NSW, including a feature article in Sydney Morning Herald on 3 July. That article noted that the girl who triggered these reforms is now living in the care of her grandmother. Simultaneously, The Daily Telegraph printed a story on 27 June noting the devastating impact that the drug ‘ice’ is having on families, with growing numbers of ice-addicted adults relinquishing their children. As COTA NSW has often pointed out, these children, like other highly traumatised and vulnerable children, are often placed into the care of grandparents.
As these stories indicate, the demand for grandparental care continually grows. For years, COTA NSW has lobbied for more support for grandparent carers, who urgently need to have easy access to straight-forward information about the many bureaucracies they must deal with in their capacity as carers. We also believe that grandparent carers and other kinship carers – not just those with formal care arrangements in place – need to be recognised for their role in child protection and encouraged to participate in well-resourced support groups.
COTA NSW will soon be launching a survey of grandparent carers which will investigate the pressures affecting them. We encourage you to check our website to see when the survey is launched.
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