Material Donations: Backpacks for kids in care

Children and young people can enter care without warning and sometimes with nothing but the clothes they’re wearing.

During a disorienting experience and in an unfamiliar environment, receiving items that are especially for them doesn’t only provide essential items but also the message that they are seen and valued.

There are a number of organisations across Australia who provide backpacks for kids entering care and need material donations, as well as financial and possibly volunteer support. Please refer to the organisation’s website for information about locations and what specific items are needed.

Hope in a Suitcase

Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania

Hope in a Suitcase provides children entering Foster or Out-of-Home Care a suitcase of new essential items to call their own, to send a message of hope and give them a sense that they are loved and cared for by the community.

Find out more at hiasc.org.au

Backpacks 4 VIC Kids

Victoria

Backpacks 4 VIC Kids provide essential material aid to displaced children through packs including My Essentials, School Essentials, Rough Sleeper, Christmas and Disaster Relief.

Find out more at backpacks4vickids.org.au

My Pack (Adopt Change)

New South Wales, Victoria

My Pack is an initiative of Adopt Change that provides first-night packs to children and young people entering Out-of-Home Care.

Find out more at adoptchange.org.au/mypack

Fostering Hope

Western Australia

Fostering Hope provide new suitcases or sports bags to children in care and gathers donated goods for children and families in regional and remote communities.

Find out more at fosteringhopeaustralia.org.au

Backpacks 4 SA Kids

South Australia

Backpacks 4 SA Kids provide resources that contribute to the care, safety and wellbeing of children and young people during periods of dislocation from home and routine care.

Find out more at backpacks4sakids.org

Sunshine Packs

Western Australia

Operation Sunshine WA provide Sunshine Packs to support for to children and young people entering Out-of-Home Care and crisis accommodation to help alleviate the negative impact of displacement.

Find out more at operationsunshinewa.org/projects


Other Material Item Needs.

There may be other organisations in your area who help provide equipment, clothes and other essentials for vulnerable families, or foster and kinship carers, that you might be able to contribute to.

For example, in Victoria, St Kilda Mums provide nursery equipment including cots, prams, and car seats, as well as clothes and other baby essentials and Big Group Hug fulfils material needs of children and their families with items such as cots, prams, car seats, clothing, nappies, and blankets. Often access to these items will be via referrals from a Maternal Child Health Nurse or Social Worker.


Christmas: help bring some joy to families doing it tough.

In the lead up to Christmas, many Out-of-Home Care organisations will run gift appeals that enable children, young people, carers and vulnerable families to receive gifts or food hampers to help celebrate this special time of year. Keep an eye out on their websites or social media for ways to contribute.

If you are a church and you run an annual Christmas giving campaign, you could consider partnering with Out-of-Home Care organisations!

Other Resources

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Your Church and the Homeward Project

Help transform Out-of-home Care in your community.

Tags

Churches Community Foster Care Kinship Care Supporting Carers Trauma Volunteer

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