Children and young people often go into care with little more than the clothes they are wearing. Some move from one placement to the next with no possessions at all. In our personal experience, our very first foster child - a baby of 10 weeks old - came to us with two shopping bags full of clothes and nappies that didn't fit, the wrong baby formula and no bottles. Our agency gave us a $75 gift card for Coles Myer and with this we needed to purchase clothing, nappies, formula, baby wipes, dummies, not to mention medications as he fell ill the night he arrived and had no Health Care Card. It was an eye opener! To think this baby had come from several other carers, yet had nothing suitable for wear or use. And what are foster carers telling foster children that they are worth when their belongings are kept in shopping bags?
The following organisations create bags which contain essentials for babies, children and young people in care. These bags represent so much to a person who has no personal effects of their own. To own a pair of underpants and a toothbrush is something most of us take for granted. Thankfully, the lovely people who provide these bags give some dignity and some pride to Australia's children in care.
The Alannah and Madeline Foundation
Backpacks 4 Aussie Kids
Project: Love and Care
The Pyjama Foundation