Fond childhood memories often include experiences made possible by our parents: a first pet, a family holiday or camping trip, learning how to swim or to drive a car, starting school in a brand new uniform, or dressed-up to the nines for school graduation. Seemingly simple, special moments.
However, for children living in out of home care on Child Protection orders, these type of childhood experiences are harder to come by. This is when, the old adage “it takes a village to raise a child” becomes very true, explains Youturn’s Child Safety Manager, Rachel Bunn.
“The misconception is that children in care are given everything, but the core costs can be the 24/7 therapeutic and trauma informed care, shelter and meals they receive.
“Other needs such lap tops for education and social connection, a day trip to the zoo, or a short holiday are not just given… programs rely on community generosity to gift us these things if they can or the kids might miss out,” said Rachel Bunn.
Children and teenagers living in out of home care are supported by dedicated youth workers. Sometimes family reunification is possible, often it is not. Youth workers try to create positive childhood memories for those in care, with donations gifted at a critical time helping.
“Kids in care don’t expect a lot, and so when they get something, maybe their first new toy or opportunity to learn soccer, or they get to go shopping for new school shoes, they just light up, because it shows them that somebody cares – somebody sees them, hears them, and wants the best for them…and that’s special.
“This year one of our children participated in the Book Week dress up for the very first time with a costume gifted to him and he felt ten feet tall…we also had some lovely and talented ladies knit jumpers and scarves when the cold snap hit and all the kids looked and felt very special,” Rachel said.
Living in Queensland where swimming is a favourite pastime, and there is a safety concern for children who cannot swim, learn to swim lessons are a highly valued gift to our programs, explains Rachel Bunn.
“Anything that helps children feel safe, nurtured and connected with their community is what’s on the needed and wanted list for children in care, and this can range from age appropriate play and education equipment, to normal childhood experiences such as going to the Ekka show, attending a concert or going to a live football game,” said Rachel.
If you would like to help with in-kind gifts or store vouchers for these items mentioned or listed on our website, please contact us. We know it takes a village to raise our children in care, and in-kind gifts are always needed and very much appreciated.