Within the WA Community, there are vulnerable children who enter care arrangements with very little notice. Children enter Care under circumstances that can be quite traumatic and quite often only with the clothes they are wearing. In 2020 there were over 5500 children living in out of home care in WA.
In 2018 local group Care Bags formed with the purpose of gifting each child a bag filled with essential and comfort items at their time of placement. Care Bags aim to have a range of bags filled with appropriate items suitable for all ages (1-16 years), boys and girls, as well as with Summer and Winter options in the 38 Community Department Offices across WA. Essential items include pyjamas, toiletries, underwear, socks & 2 outfit changes. Comfort items include a teddy bear and a colouring book, journal or toy.
WA Charity Direct has been supporting Care Bags since 2019 with funding to assist with 200 winter bags and also assistance with storage facilities. Our most recent funding has supported 350 youth toiletry packs and 300 additional bags.
The small gesture of giving a child their very own backpack filled with new items sends a strong positive message, that they are valued, and people do care about them as they embark on this period of uncertainty.