Lynda Hope from the YWCA and Dona Graham from DAISI with the Grandparenting Toolbox.
Lynda Hope from the YWCA and Dona Graham from DAISI with the Grandparenting Toolbox.

The right tools for grandparents

Remember when your grandma used to have a box full of recipe cards sitting on the shelf? DAISI CEO Dona Graham does and has used that format of having a box full of cards with useful information to create a new resource for grandparents looking after their grandchildren. According to Dona, there are twice as many children in NSW being looked after by their grandparents than there are in foster care.

“And that's just the tip of the iceberg,” she said. “For all sorts of reasons they don't want to identify with being carers and we believe there are many more flying below the radar.”

DAISI has been running a support program for grand-carers for many years and has identified the need for information to be presented in a way that is easy to find and easy to understand. So they created the Grandparenting Toolbox.

“A lot of grand-carers tell us they feel under skilled, under resourced and overwhelmed... Child rearing techniques have changed a lot over the last few decades and it might be 40 or 50 years since some of them have bounced a baby on their knee. They don't want one book on sleep and another on first aid,” Dona said. “The toolbox and its contents have been developed in direct response to the concerns and suggestions of local grand-carers. It features a series of laminated recipe-type cards on 18 topics ranging from wet weather games to teething and tantrums, to equipment and local support services.”

The language has been targetted for the older readers (they call a child restraint seat a 'baby bucket') and they have been careful not to use jargon.

It has been designed specifically for the Lismore region, but they are also working with the YWCA to produce a CD-ROM version so it could be distributed to other areas. They also plan to have a facility so people can add their own tips via a website which could be produced into cards for future versions of the toolbox.

The toolbox is free for grand-carers in the Lismore area. Phone 6622 8002. It is also available through local libraries and childcare professionals.


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