Why we exist

In total, 10 children in every 1000 in Victoria are on care and protection orders (14,947 children across Victoria) (AIHW 2021).

Recent AIHW data has shown 5494 children were admitted to care and protection orders in Victoria in 2019-20, with 72% of these admitted for the first time. Each year, A Better Life For Foster Kids provides around Crisis Cases to around 1600 children entering care, to ensure their needs are taken care of with dignity, and to relieve mental and financial burden of carers.

How Crisis Cases Help

Crisis Cases contain around 55 items of clothing, underwear and other care essentials, many which are donated new or in good condition by our community. We only pack good quality items, and pack each case according to a list of items we know are age and sex appropriate and will be useful to carers and the child.

Crisis Cases contain around $375 worth of items, representing a significant saving for carers, especially if they are taking on several emergency placements each year.

While carer payments have additional fortnightly loading in the first six months, but this does not aid with the initial expenses of a placement. Victoria has the lowest level of foster carer payments in the nation, with payments falling short of the true costs by an estimated $70 per week (Foster Care Association of Victoria).

Reducing costs for carers of taking on placements is one of the ways we work to ensure we don’t lose more carers from the foster care system.  In 2019-2020, 596 households in Victoria exited foster care, while only 354 households commenced foster care: that’s a loss of 242 carers, as well as the greater loss of experienced carers (AIHW Child Protection Australia 2019-2020 report).

100% of carers who responded to our Crisis Case survey said they would recommend the service to other carers.

The results from our survey of carers who receive Crisis Cases continues to indicate that they:

  • Make it easier to afford other necessities, activities or items for the child or other children in their care (67%)
  • Allow the carer to spend more time than you would have been able to otherwise on settling the child into their home (89%)
  • Make the carer feel supported knowing there is material assistance available. (89%)

What Carers are saying about our Crisis Cases – Quotes from our Crisis Case Survey

“Receiving a child in the middle of the night with a case and new pyjama’s & clothes for the next day is amazing for us & the child. While child needed to be checked over for injuries, they didn’t even notice as they snuggled up into new pyjamas. As carers we really appreciate the support of A Better Life for Foster Kids & all who help us along the way. Some may think it’s only a little thing but it sure makes a big difference.”

“Having new clean clothes always made them walk taller.”  

“For a child to arrive with a crisis case makes it so much easier the first night because the child can have a bath and put on fresh new pjs then the next day we can concentrate on going through the boxes of clothes in the garage and finding them clothes to wear. In the 14 years as a carer it is very rare for a child to arrive with anything. A crisis case make the settling in process a bit easier.”

“I did not have to stress or shop with a young person who had just been through one of the hardest times in their lives.”

“Saved me huge amount of time and money in having to go shopping for our little man.”

“Took the stress out of the initial placements.”

“It’s exciting for the child to actually own some things immediately on placement, making them very very wanted.”