The backpacks we provide help to relieve some of the stress and anxiety children face when they are removed from their family, often in traumatic situations and without the opportunity to take any personal belongings with them.
The backpacks provided contain age appropriate emergency clothing, toiletries and other necessary supplies (such as nappies, bottles and cuddle toys) for children aged 0-16 years who are taken into care as a result of neglect or abuse, or who need to quickly leave their homes due to family violence, or who are experiencing homelessness.
We commenced in 2012, assisting 540 children in that year, and now assist over 3,800 children per year, and around 1000 carers, as demand for our service increases. In the coming year we anticipate requests from agencies for around 4,500 backpacks. All work in the organisation is undertaken in our warehouse by volunteers who sort, store and pack donated goods into the emergency backpacks, one of which goes to each child.
Backpacks 4 SA Kids provides these backpacks because 9/10 children who have been displaced from their homes do so with just the clothes on their backs. This can cause extreme stress and anxiety, but a simple backpack filled with the basic essentials items and some distraction items can help reduce that stress and anxiety.
The backpacks we provide help to relieve some of the uncertainty children face when they are removed from their family, often in traumatic situations and without the opportunity to take any personal belongings along with them.
Our aim is to provide a backpack full of useful items that these children, from newborn babies through to young adults, can call their own, providing reassurance and comfort from their changing worlds.
When a child or young person (aged up to 18 years) is unable to live with their families often due to child abuse, neglect or domestic violence, they are placed in 'out of home' care. This may be foster care, kinship care, residential care, youth homeless or domestic violence shelters. Often children are removed from their families in emergency, traumatic situations with no prior warning. Taken from their family by strangers, they may not have anything familiar of their own but the clothes on their backs. Children may stay in 'out of home' care for short or long periods of time, and often move from home to home in their rapidly changing worlds.
We aim to provide these children with their own backpack full of personal items, which they can easily identify it as theirs, and take it with them to their next family.