Welcome to our final newsletter of winter! As we bid farewell to the chilly season and embrace the warmth of the coming months, we’re pleased to share some insights on making a meaningful connection with charities supporting sick kids in Australia, including MissingSchool.
Children’s charities play an indispensable role in our community. They provide essential support, resources, and networks for families grappling with the challenges of caring for sick kids. Whether it’s for families, educators, or healthcare settings, charities offer specialised services and strategies tailored to specific circumstances or illness contexts. However, with so many charities out there, it pays to delve deeper. We encourage you to research and seek the charities that best align with your values and goals, and the particular timing of your need.
“A family supported by a community becomes a community enriched by strong, resilient families.”
– Wes Moore
When choosing a charity to support a child with medical or mental health conditions, injuries, or disabilities, it’s crucial to consider the alignment between the organisation’s objectives and your own. Think of it as “shopping” for an organisation that best fits your needs at a given moment.
Factors to consider include the charity’s primary focus, the breadth of services they offer, their compatibility with your current capacity, the sense of individual or community connection they nurture, and their transparency in using and reporting funds. If you’re ever in doubt, the Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission (ACNC) website is a valuable resource. There, you can gain insights and verify the credibility of the organisation in question.
Different Types of Organisation
While there are many different charities supporting sick kids (and their families) in Australia, they tend to fall into three general categories.
Illness Specific Organisations
These groups focus on providing tailored support to individuals and families impacted by specific illnesses or medical conditions. They raise awareness, offer resources, provide support services and guidance, and advocate for research and treatment options related to a particular health condition.
These entities are dedicated to advancing research for specific illnesses or groups of illnesses. Often collaborating with research institutions and universities, they provide or use research grants to work for better treatments, or a cure, and share critical knowledge about the illness/condition.
Education Support Organisations
Numerous charities focus on providing educational support. They often operate within hospital settings or cater to students who are unable to attend school. Their services include tutoring, facilitating school connections, and addressing illness-specific educational needs. Some organisations have eligibility criteria tied to age groups.
What About MissingSchool?
Since 2017, MissingSchool’s telepresence robot service has been transforming the lives of sick kids by facilitating their virtual presence in classrooms, enabling interaction with peers, and creating a sense of normalcy during their health challenges. By reducing the burden on caregivers, this service ensures that kids receive educational engagement even during extended absences due to illness.
To complement our telepresence technology service and support group for parents, coming soon are:
- Peer animations to play in the classroom
- Teacher professional training and communities
- National Illness-Education Directories website
- Impact reports and world-first research.
At MissingSchool, our approach is firmly grounded in data and evidence, enabling us to drive for effective policy change. What makes us different is our commitment and approach to long-term systemic transformation in the education landscape. We work to unlock the existing capacity in our systems (families, schools, and health settings) and point that capacity to the problem we are trying to solve. Rather than creating a charitable substitution, we are working to “shine the light” on solutions that every family, school, and health setting around Australia can deploy for the benefit of students experiencing school isolation. Our number one goal is to put ourselves out of business.
We recognise that none of our accomplishments would be possible without your invaluable support. We know you can help us reach our goal.
There are many ways to help:
- follow along and cheer us on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn
- share this newsletter with your family, friends, or colleagues so we can reach more sick kids, and
- donate towards getting a seriously sick child back into their classroom.
Every action moves us closer to the finish line: a world where every sick child is seen and heard.
Let’s keep connecting.