Our Research studies
published in 2005
revealed that taking on the care of the children typically causes significant stress, economically and financially along with social isolation.
One of the key recommendations arising from these studies is the importance of ongoing education, and practical learning experiences for caregivers.
The ‘SALT’ (Simply Acquired and Learned Techniques) for Caregivers, one-day workshop programme is a free training programme for our members.
This programme is uniquely designed for grandparent and whanau caregivers, because it recognizes the particular family dynamics experienced in these sorts of family breakdowns, the stage of life for the caregivers, generational differences between the grandparent whanau caregivers and the children. Recognizing these differences enables the participants to share with others who face a similar circumstance, helping them to forge bonds of friendship and support with other participants.
The SALT workshop has been further developed from a programme offered in 2013-2016 that focused on helping caregivers to regain perspective in their own lives, boost their confidence and provide them with additional tools to effectively manage their health, wealth and well-being as well as that of their grandchildren. This programme was particularly helpful for clusters of new members who had recently taken on the care of grandchildren and who were struggling coming to terms with their new role and the significant changes taking place in their lives.
In 2016 and 2017 a new 'trauma informed care' workshop module has been developed and trialled in response to research and feedback with grandparent caregivers.
Research in 2016
showed that 41% of children in grandparent care are diagnosed with a psychological disorder or illness, impacting on the child's behavior. Some children are on the Autism Spectrum and others have been affected by their parent's drug or alcohol abuse while in utero and for some it is a result of past trauma, neglect and abuse. In each case the needs of the child are complex and their behavior can be troubling and challenging for their grandparents to manage.
This workshop programme has been designed to offer caregivers with a practical insight and understanding of the impact of past trauma on a child or young person and how to effectively parent a child who may be exhibiting troubling or challenging behavior, guiding them safely to a point where the child feels safe, secure and able to respond from a position of reason rather than fear, anxiety or anger.
For more information on the SALT programme and up-coming workshops please email Lisa Braid
or phone: 021 278 8555