Foundation calls on all Governments to follow Victoria in supporting children removed from home

in Press Releases

Media Release - Wednesday 28 September

The Alannah & Madeline Foundation applauds the Andrews Government for being the first to deliver funds to its Buddy Bags program, which provides much-needed support to vulnerable children who have been removed from home.

Earlier today, Minister for Families and Children Jenny Mikakos MP announced that the Government will contribute $180,000 over the next three years to ensure more children in need receive a Buddy Bag.

Almost 60,000 Australian children will be in emergency accommodation this year. This can be one of the most traumatic experiences in a child’s life with many left with only the clothes on their back.

Since 2007, the Foundation has provided more than 67,000 Buddy Bags to vulnerable children who have been placed in emergency accommodation across the country, including almost 17,000 in Victoria. The program was developed in response to increasing requests from community agencies who provide emergency care to children across the country.

The Alannah & Madeline Foundation CEO Lesley Podesta said the $180,000 would now help provide all Victorian children in need with a Buddy Bag during what is already a traumatic time. And in order to reach more children across the country, Ms Podesta called on all state and territory governments to match this contribution.

Ms Podesta applauded the Andrews Government’s decision and said the gift of new clothes, a cuddly toy or a book really made a difference to children during what was such a scary and confusing time.

“We know that family violence can have a long-term impact on children, this funding is a very practical way to address this issue and make a real difference during a really traumatic time,” Ms Podesta said.

“Every day, we get postcards from children who receive the Buddy Bags, we know how much it means to them.”

Ms Mikakos MP said this was an essential program because much of the time children often had nothing when removed from their homes.

“When a child goes into out-of-home care, they have often experienced abuse and neglect,” Ms Mikakos said. “Buddy Bags are an important first step in providing these children with essential items during a difficult period.”

The bags include items such as a toothbrush, toothpaste, hairbrush, pyjamas, socks, underwear, pillowcase, facewasher, a book, photo frame and a teddy bear and are broken down by age groups. They provide practical items but also help restore a sense of safety and security in a child’s life.

For more information or to donate to the Alannah & Madeline Foundation please go to amf.org.au.

Media inquiries contact Adrian Bernecich: 0416 045 701 or adrian.bernecich@amf.org.au.

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