Unseen Unheard – The Grandparent Project

The need to support Grandparents caring for grandchildren because of parental addiction became evident through Odyssey’s Family Drug Support Program. Grandparents were presenting with issues related to support from and navigation of the AOD, Mental Health, Child Protection, Education and Legal sectors, together with their grandchildren and their own grief and loss. Unfortunately, current resources and programs specific to grandparents are limited. Odyssey, in partnership with SHARC is developing a resource to assist grandparents with the issues identified by them. The presentation outlines the literature review, gap analysis, focus groups, thematic analysis and program development that forms part of the project. It also shares themes that emerged from focus groups, including isolation, stigma, access to services, decision-making, financial strains, rights, mental health and wellbeing of their children, grandchildren and themselves.

Presenters

Lynne Ruggiero, Family Drug Support Therapist, Odyssey House Victoria, Footscray

Lynne is a Social Worker, having worked with families supporting people with dual diagnosis for 25 years. Lynne is in her 10 years as a member of the Mental Health Tribunal, was Chair of the Mental Health Carer Lived Experience Workforce for many years and Intake Coordinator at Bouverie.

Andrew Bramham, Care & Recovery Co-ordinator, Uniting

Andrew works in the AOD sector in outreach and recovery coordination for Uniting Re-Gen.
Andrew previously worked as a school social worker, delivering the parenting program Tuning-into-Teens and providing counselling for students. Andrew recently completed his social work degree at RMIT, graduating in Honours Class 2a.