We’re facing a human rights tragedy in Australia. More than 43,000 children and young people were living in out-of-home care – foster care, residential care and kinship care – in Australia, as at 30 June 2015.
Nearly half of all homeless people and more than 60% of youth in detention have experienced out-of-home care. It is clear that the current system is not working and is leaving our children at risk.
The Bridge of Hope White Dove model
The White Dove ‘model of change’ is facilitated by a network of relevant peers – those with the lived experience – whether it is a vulnerable young woman in state care peered with a former vulnerable young woman from state care or former vulnerable family to a vulnerable family.
At all levels, the peer support is overseen by members of our support networks operating in close geographical locations.
Helping save girls exiting the care system
Each year, the guardianship contracts of 200, including 80 ‘extremely vulnerable’, young Victorian women cease. As a result, many experience homelessness, drug use, unintended pregnancy, prostitution and clashes with the law. These young women need ongoing support and assistance to access and sustain suitable housing and employment and financial counselling. A history of many adults and caregivers coming in and out of their lives, however, means they often find it hard to accept support.
The White Dove Movement coordinates a network of support services for these young women and pairs them with a peer who has experienced the same challenges. We aim to engage them at an earlier age, explore their interests, build their self-esteem and provide an opportunity to develop consistent, sustained relationships with adult volunteers. Our ultimate goal is to ensure they receive the education, life skills and support needed to successfully transition from out-of-home care into the community.
Announcing our new Patrons
I’m very pleased to announce that Emeritus Professor Gillian Triggs, President of the Australian Human Rights Commission, Julian Burnside AO QC, Barrister, Human Rights and Refugee Advocate and Author, and Simon McKeon AO, Chancellor Monash University have each been appointed Patrons of this crucial initiative.
For more information, make a donation or become a volunteer
Visit The Bridge of Hope White Dove Movement. We must do something now. These are our children and grandchildren and our friends’ children and grandchildren. Please help them.