This is a report of the findings from the research project: Grandparents as Primary Carers of their Grandchildren: A National, State and Territory Analysis. The research was conducted by the Social Policy Research Centre at the University of New South Wales.
Grandparents have long played a major role in the lives of their children and grandchildren, with some providing extensive emotional, material and practical support. Since the last quarter of the 20th century in Australia as in many other countries, grandparent carers—the focus of this study—have become both politically organised and a focus of policy attention. The growing public visibility of grandparent carers reflects not only their political mobilisation but also the increasing reliance of child protection authorities on kinship care (mainly grandparent care). In 2012, almost 41,000 children and young people across Australia were the subject of care and protection orders issued by child protection authorities and more than half of those placed in home-based care are with relatives or kin—mainly grandparents—rather than with non-related foster carers.