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Provincial Politics: New Support Line For Grandparents Raising Grandchildren
Submitted. Parenting is the most important, rewarding and challenging job that most adults will undertake in their lifetime. Along with the joy of raising a child come times of stress and uncertainty. That stress and uncertainty can increase greatly when a grandparent or another relative has taken on the responsibility of
raising a family member’s child.
They may feel overwhelmed by their new
parenting role. They may feel stressed about financial, emotional or
legal concerns. They may have questions about where to get help when
they need it.
“Relatives who are caregivers for a family member’s child come from all
different walks of life, income levels and cultures. Although each
family’s situation is unique, caregivers share the need for
information, support, services and resources. This new phone line will
provide instant help and valuable information to caring individuals who
have opened their hearts and homes to a family member’s child.” – Mary McNeil, Minister of Children and Family Development
That’s why the Ministry of Children and Family Development is investing
$100,000 a year from the ministry’s existing fiscal plan for the Parent
Support Services Society of B.C. to launch the new Grandparents Raising
Grandchildren Support Line and email support.
The new line follows through on a request made in 2011 by Grandparents
Raising Grandchildren. The grandparents support group asked the
ministry for a new navigation and education service to provide help and
information to grandparents or other relatives raising a family
member’s child. Recognizing that not everyone is online, especially if
they are a part of an older generation, a phone line was preferred.
Skilled and experienced advocates will staff the phone line and provide
email support to help people understand their rights, obligations and
options prior to and after assuming responsibility for raising a family
member’s child. Staff will also ensure that callers are aware of all
benefits, supports and resources available to them – and how to access
* To call the Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Support Line, please
dial 604 558-4740 (Lower Mainland) or 1 855 474-9777 (toll free from
anywhere in B.C.)
* Email the Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Support Service at:
* The new help line will operate provincewide, Monday-Friday, for five
hours a day. The hours will vary, however, if a client calls when the
line is not open, they will receive a voicemail where they can leave a
message for a call back.
* In addition to funding for the help line, the ministry is providing
the Parent Support Services Society with $10,000 to update and reprint
a legal guide to help grandparents make informed decisions about legal
matters impacting their families.
* Parent Support Services Society of BC is a non-profit, volunteer-
based society which promotes healthy parent-child relationships by
supporting families and communities.
* If a child’s needs are best met by living outside the parental home,
and the parents agree, financial and other supports may be provided to
the caregiver through the ministry’s Extended Family Program.
o Through the Extended Family Program, caregivers may receive monthly
benefit payments of up to $554 per child under 12 years old and $625
per child over 12. Additional benefits are available based on the
child’s assessed needs.
* In May 2011, the B.C. government announced amendments to the Child,
Family and Community Service Act to allow for the transfer of permanent
legal custody of a vulnerable child living with extended family to
those family members without having to remove the child into government
care first. The amendments mean that extended family members will be
able to provide children with permanent homes more quickly and with
less disruption to the child.
* For more information on the Parent Support Services Society of BC, go
* For more information on the Extended Family Program, go to:
Connect with the Province of B.C. at: www.gov.bc.ca/connect