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Crowe welcomes Minister's commitment to review allowances paid to grandparents caring for children

6 October, 2004

Sinn Féin TD and spokesperson on Community and Social Affairs, Seán Crowe TD today welcomed the commitment of the Minister for Social Welfare, Seamus Brennan that he would carry out a review of the "meagre" allowances paid to grandparents caring for children.

Speaking today in the Dáil during Priority Questions the Sinn Féin TD spoke of the huge difficulties facing grandparents trying to care for children on the meagre allowance of a €100 per week paid under the Orphan's Allowance. Deputy Crowe called on the Minister to investigate the possibility of developing a grant similar in value to the Fostering allowance which amounts to about three times the value of the Orphan's grant.

Deputy Crowe said:

"These Carers feel isolated and frustrated, with no place to go for clear information on their entitlements. Social Workers often don‚t even know what the entitlements are. The difficulties facing these elderly people in accessing fostering rights are bad enough in that a certain degree of ageism is involved. Those difficulties are compounded where there are issues of drug addiction amongst the parents of the children needing care."

"I know that the whole Carers issue will be debated tonight in the Dáil but this whole area needs to be addressed as a matter of urgency. Carers render a great service; they work hard and often around the clock. Their work deserves payment - not some meagre allowance. Carers in this country are seriously undervalued under current support systems."

Speaking afterwards the Dublin South West TD said he "welcomed Minister Brennan's commitment to review the whole are of allowances paid to grandparents caring for children." ENDS

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