How you can help make this country a better place for thousands of children
Adopt Change will urge all Australians to turn November into Yesvember by saying "yes" to #aHomeForEveryChild.
The campaign will support one of Australia's leading fashion houses on a critical issue - the need for safety, care and stability in the lives of children who live apart from their families across the country and beyond. Campaign ambassadors include: Joe Hildebrand, Ellia Green, Phoebe Garland, Angela Bishop, as well as influencers Kate Waterhouse, Nikki Phillips and actors Anna, Elsa and Emilie Cocqueral, who are showing collective support and getting the cause heard across the country.
This is crucial for thousands of Australian children in the out of home care system, who frequently are not provided with permanency, and instead are started on a trajectory towards homelessness, interactions with the justice system, poor education, health and mental health outcomes.
There are almost 45,000 children living in the out of home care system in Australia - enough to fill a football stadium. Some of these children have lived in institutional care for more than 2 years.
Fashion house Aje, founded in 2012, has partnered on the goal of #aHomeForEveryChild, by providing the design and production of this year’s campaign t-shirts, and amplifying the message across the fashion community and beyond.
Adopt Change Founder, Deborra-lee Furness spoke passionately about the rights of children, “Every child needs a home where they can feel safe and know that they’re going to be seen and heard, that they feel precious and that at least someone has their best interest at heart. A home is more than just shelter, it is a place to thrive that is constant and loving. As Mahatma Ghandi once quoted—the true measure of any society can be found in how it treats its most vulnerable.”
“Children do not thrive in institutional or temporary care, we need to find permanency for these kids, so that they can develop physically, mentally and emotionally and therefore be given the chance to realise their individual potential and become productive members of society.
“There are 45,000 children in out of home care for the fourth year running. We, as a society, can do better for our vulnerable at-risk children.”
“In UNITY we can make a huge difference to a child’s life.”
Children in the out of home care system frequently move from placement to placement without being provided permanency within a family home. This loss of belonging has a profound impact, compounding the trauma they have typically already experienced from abuse or neglect before entering the care system.
Adopt Change advocate, Emily Paul discusses her experiences growing up in the out of home care system, “The uncertainty is endless, sometimes it feels impossible to move forward. We are locked in a future and a fate without a say and without knowing what is intended for us. I came into the out of home care system at nine years old. At first the strongest emotions I felt were both anger and sadness. It took me a long time to accept that being in the system wasn’t my fault and to not let these emotions define me.”
Emily has experience being homeless and falling pregnant at 15 years of age, “It wasn’t until I became a parent that I understood the real impact a parent has on a child’s life. My actions had become someone else’s reality – my son’s reality. It inspired me, my family had done what they had done, I need to accept the past and live for the future. I needed to lead, to create a new path, one my son could follow. I want to create real change for kids in care.”
This November, Adopt Change in partnership with Aje are working toward changing the future for children in care. Co-founder and CEO of Aje, Adrian Norris spoke about supporting Adopt Change and their partnership, “In their unwavering support of nurturing Australian children in need, Adopt Change’s mission deeply resonates with us at a personal level. In July, as part of our Spring Summer 2020 portrait series, Edwina and I were proud to contribute to and raise awareness of Adopt Change as a cause we wanted our own community to learn more about. From there we simply wanted to do more, collaborating with Adopt Change on an Aje t-shirt design, as the Aje tee is such a well-recognised signature for our brand and loved by our customers around Australia. Our intention is to bring as much visibility to the cause as possible.”
Creative director and co-founder of Aje, Edwina Forest explains, “Adopt Change’s work is so truly essential, safeguarding vulnerable Australian children in need. At the heart of our brand, Adrian and I see ourselves as storytellers. Beyond the beauty of fashion, we are drawn to compelling initiatives and changemakers who advocate for a brighter future for all. We can’t look past nurturing these future generations of young Australians.”
Adopt Change Chief Executive Renée Carter, emphasised the critical need for more people to say ‘yes’ to providing caring homes for children. “We are so encouraged to be partnering with Aje, our Ambassadors, and the community, to ensure this critical message is heard, and that we improve childhoods and the futures of children and young people. We want to hear from our community about how they can help support families, and their ability to provide safe, stable and nurturing family homes this Yesvember, as we build a brighter future for children across Australia and beyond.”
“We look forward to celebrating families, children and young people across the month, and hearing a diversity of stories and experiences from care leavers and adoptees, families and relatives, foster carers, kinship carers and adoptive families. It is so important that we hear and support families across Australia, so that as a country we can look after our children and community.”