Time For Kids’ core programme matches children in need with individuals and families who volunteer to care for a child and to play a significant role in their lives over many years.
Once matched, a child will most commonly spend a weekend a month or a day a fortnight with their ‘Time for Kids family’ until they reach adulthood, complementing and adding to their existing family structures. Their carers and mentors become aunts and uncles, big brothers and sisters, providing much-needed respite as well as positive role models and practical and emotional supports that enable our children to thrive.
Time For Kids applied once again to UCF for a small grant of $1,868 to fund their ‘Give a Kid a Break’ year-long school holiday programme to be delivered to 100 disadvantaged children on their waiting list for respite placement with a volunteer carer/mentor. The current waiting list of 142 children constitutes a 4 year wait for placement. In reality, many of these children will be unplaced due to a growing shortage of volunteers available to care for a child in need.
‘Give a Kid a Break’ will provide children with access to diverse new experiences, intended to broaden their exposure to the world and expand their understanding of their own interests and aptitudes. Children have the opportunity to form new friendships and social connections, supporting their positive psycho-social development and reducing the impact of their current isolation.
It is intended that the ‘Give a Kid a Break’ programme will deliver the following minimum activities, in collaboration with a broad range of external partners and supporters:
- 3 cooking workshops, conducted by volunteers and each accommodating up to 15 children.
- 5 further workshops, including gardening, football, reading events and children’s yoga, conducted by volunteers and each accommodating up to 15 children.
- 4 school holiday camps, each accommodating up to 10 children.
- 2 seasonal gifting events held at Easter and Christmas, each accommodating a minimum of 80 children.
Programme outcomes will be measured using the Results Based Accountability Framework through surveys and service data addressing several success measures.
Based on the success of their previous programmes and subsequent Grant Acquittals, the UCF directors were pleased to approve this grant application.