Supporting carers

December 15th, 2013 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

The SST reports:

Extended members who care for children who are not their own will get an extra $35 million in benefits, the Government will announce today.

More than 12,400 kids in New Zealand are cared for by relatives, often grandparents, when their parents are either incapable or unwilling to raise them, often due to drug use, violence, neglect and mental health issues.

Around 8500 foster parents already receive an unsupported child benefit, with the Government paying out about $111.5m between July 2011 and July 2012. But many say the money is not enough.

Social Development Minister Paula Bennett said today’s funding package would include a one-off establishment grant of $350 when a carer takes a child into their home. It would also include a “start-of-year payment” that will range between $400 for kids under five and $550 for children over 14 to relieve caregivers having to buy school uniforms and pay fees.

The ministry will also set up a discretionary extraordinary care fund of up to $2000 a year for children with significant difficulties, or who show promise. This fund will become available in July 2014.

I have huge respect for those people who care for children who are no theirs.

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20 Responses to “Supporting carers”

  1. duggledog (1,116 comments) says:

    ‘often grandparents, often Maori, when their parents are either incapable or unwilling to raise them, often due to drug use, violence, neglect and mental health issues.’

    Fixed that bit for you

    Apirana Ngata was right. Welfare has indeed become a blight on his people

    Good on the grandparents etc for stepping in to raise the kids. I still have no idea why the f*** I should pay for that though.

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  2. Nostalgia-NZ (4,697 comments) says:

    Most welcome, long overdue.

    Nice to think that whoever feeds duggledog some old bones could be paid for it if they so choose.

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  3. duggledog (1,116 comments) says:

    And it’s yet another incentive to make poor decisions and be unaccountable for them.

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  4. Judith (5,660 comments) says:

    Whatever welfare is offered, it could never compensate for the time, and all the expense of bringing up another person’s child.
    Grandparents that are left with this task are often elderly, and when they should be at a stage of life to enjoy themselves, they are instead required to do the sleepless nights, the worrying, and everything else.

    They take these children on because it is in that child’s best interests, however, whilst we all love our grandchildren, it is done with a lot of personal sacrifice.

    I think they should receive assistance – afterall they are spending what would have been their ‘retirement funds’, however, I think the parents of the children (if still around) should be made to pay child support too.

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  5. Judith (5,660 comments) says:

    duggledog (754 comments) says:
    December 15th, 2013 at 9:15 am
    And it’s yet another incentive to make poor decisions and be unaccountable for them.

    So? Do we instead leave the children in a negative environment to become yet another negative statistic, and learn the hopeless ways of their parent’s, then when they have their own family, pass that same learned hopelessness on to them?

    This is a means of breaking the cycle – instead you seem to what to propagate it.

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  6. flipper (3,273 comments) says:

    Heh Duggle….

    As one of those who does meet many grandchild costs, I do not seek, have not sought, but would not reject, any grant toward those costs. After all, $30 = a bottle of excellent Pinot Noir. :-)

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  7. Judith (5,660 comments) says:

    @ flipper (2,842 comments) says:
    December 15th, 2013 at 9:21 am

    Oh no, did you have to mention Pinot Noir – I emptied one too many glasses of that last night !!

    But you are right, as grandparents we frequently cover costs for our grandchildren, purchasing vital needs that their own parent’s (our children) cannot meet for some reason or other. OR, just because we can.

    I often believe it is easy to sit back and judge, but none of us know what life can dish out, and even the most hard working organised person can be caught out.

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  8. flipper (3,273 comments) says:

    Hi J…..

    When I looked yesterday at our Christmas spending the order was:
    1. Grandchildren (by a country mile)
    2. Children
    3. ‘Selves (detected under electron microscope).

    Have a good one…. and don’t forget to check with Selman before you refill that glass :-)

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  9. duggledog (1,116 comments) says:

    God Judith you really do encapsulate everything that’s wrong with this country.

    Problem? Throw more money at it! There’s an endless supply! That’s not how you break a cycle.

    I would much rather send a signal to them that the money is either no longer there or is being phased out, and we had really better get on with that because the longer we put it off, the worse it’s going to be – and it’s already bad in so many areas from Kaitaia to Kawerau.

    The reason most of the children are in a negative environment in the first place is because of state largess; the vast spending on no fault welfare since the seventies.

    I believe you care which is why you debate problems like this which are so far reaching and damaging, but I get the idea you think these people are dumb and chimp-like, and need ‘educating’ etc. I don’t, I think they are smart and know how to manipulate the system for maximum benefit and minimum responsibility. There’s nothing like a closed dole office to snap a 16 year old’s legs shut.

    At the very least, any state assistance for someone who has transferred the burden of their children onto their own parents should be transferred as well, not added to.

    I’d better get back to the task of raising my own children to be responsible for themselves… they have many chores to do before lunch!

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  10. Judith (5,660 comments) says:

    @ duggledog

    Yeah, you would just rather the social problems we have to get worse.

    I don’t advocate throwing money at the problem in the same way we have, but rather we put money into schemes that will eventually reduce the problem. Like it or not we have some families with generational learned hopelessness due mostly to the welfare system. Hopeless people raising hopeless people is not going to work, or break the cycle.

    The only way to break it, and reduce the welfare cost (either through benefits or money spent cleaning up the mess) is to target money towards areas that will do the most good. Putting children with grandparents/or anyone that is more positive and able to raise them better than their hopeless parents (or parents that are just unable to do it), is going to be a damn site better than continuing to pay the same amount just to produce the same results.

    Afterall, isn’t that a sign of insanity – to keep doing the same thing over and over and expect a different outcome?

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  11. WineOh (430 comments) says:

    A few hundred dollars a week seems like a pretty good investment if it keeps a few more neglected kids out of prison.

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  12. Odakyu-sen (248 comments) says:

    Judith noted: “Yeah, you would just rather the social problems we have to get worse.”

    If you stop propping up the social problems with money, they will get worse (for a while), but then the awful hand of nature will do its ghastly work and the problem will die away.

    I suspect that the willpower of the “middle class” is no match for the welfare class’s powerful combination of a) sense of entitlement, b) not-giving-a-shit masquerading as “strength of will,” and c) ability to consciously or unconsciously prey on tax-payers’ “guilt” (read: “gullibility”.)

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  13. wiseowl (577 comments) says:

    Watch this benefit amount grow and grow and grow.
    Sure just throw more money at it.
    There is an unlimited amount available.

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  14. dime (8,778 comments) says:

    “I think the parents of the children (if still around) should be made to pay child support too.”

    it would probably push them over the edge. the parents will want em back. DPB or no DPB and ya have to pay child support…

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  15. duggledog (1,116 comments) says:

    Judith

    “Putting children with grandparents/or anyone that is more positive and able to raise them better than their hopeless parents (or parents that are just unable to do it), is going to be a damn site better than continuing to pay the same amount just to produce the same results.”

    Aaargh. They (the grandparents) are often the ones that f***ed it all up in the first place!

    Seen the movie ‘Boy’? At the start where Gran buggers off for a tangi for the week leaving the children to fend for themselves? That’s the reality, and it’s why it was so powerful. Taika was writing and directing from experience.

    We just can’t go on like this, shovelling money out to prop up those who can’t be f***ed to even get up and give their kids breakfast, grandparents or parents or whatever. This is why.

    It may have escaped your attention, but recent stats indicate a massive growth in immigrants who – let’s be honest – outnumber the growth in PI and Maori. And these immigrants value family, opportunity, self responsibility and hard work above all else. You know who they are, and there are lots and lots more to come. It’s unstoppable.

    One day – probably just a generation away – their numbers will achieve a critical mass, and their patience with the feral underclass (who they see every day on the telly in all their glory) is not going to be as bottomless as yours evidently is. Ergo, the rug will be pulled away and pulled away quickly.

    So I’m in favour of getting this thing underway now. No more money. That is precisely the insane mistake we keep repeating.

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  16. duggledog (1,116 comments) says:

    “I don’t advocate throwing money at the problem in the same way we have, but rather we put money into schemes that will eventually reduce the problem.”

    And what are these nebulous ‘schemes’? Boot camps? Learning Centres? Whanau Ora? How will they eventually reduce the problem? Nothing they’ve come up with yet has, has it?

    Yours is the classic language of the left, ‘we’ll come up with some programmes’ – well they don’t work, they never really do. We consistently pump either cash into the pockets of the underclass, or cash into the pockets of ‘providers’ and they both amount to the same thing: no improvement and waste of resources… Unless I’ve missed something and Helen Clark did close the gaps after all.

    No more money! It should be optional. You can give yours to them if you like

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  17. Michael (880 comments) says:

    I know a kid who was fostered into a new family recently and because my sons and him play in the same team we were invited to his birthday party last week. His foster mum told us he had his interview with his lawyer earlier that week and said the best thing about his new home was that he had a Mum and Dad who loved him and she was going to advocate for a permanent placement.

    Worth every cent, that couple. And plenty more.

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  18. duggledog (1,116 comments) says:

    Michael

    Should that worthy couple be representative of those who stand to receive the millions, I would be a supporter. But they are not.

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  19. Harriet (4,010 comments) says:

    “…..I have huge respect for those people who care for children who are no theirs….”

    I have huge respect for those hetrosexual people who care for children who are not theirs.

    Fixed. :cool:

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  20. Viking2 (10,734 comments) says:

    Why some of the noisiest assume this to be a Maori issue is puzzling. Its not. Plenty of Grand Parents raising their grand kids because their nice little white girl has gone troppo.

    Welfare are usually very supportive but it does affect the G parents mightily.

    More strength to their arms.

    There is a possibility of a certain race where gparents normally raising the gkids will wangle their way into the money.
    not indeginous Kiwi’s.

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