Founded in Victoria in 2014, Backpacks 4 Vic Kids is a registered not-for-profit charity with GDR status. B4VK provides quality-filled backpacks and gift packs for vulnerable children, from birth to seventeen years of age, who are entering out-of-home care or emergency accommodation in Victoria and Tasmania.
Often children are placed quickly into foster care, or secure facilities without much more than what they are wearing at the time of displacement. Backpacks 4 VIC Kids backpacks provide displaced children with essential items to ease anxiety and grief during first 24-48 hours of displacement. These items often bring them comfort in an incredibly stressful and frightening time.
When children have these essential items including their own blanket and soft, cuddly toy, they are easier to settle, feel more secure and, most importantly, they know that there are people who care about them and value their wellbeing.
In Victoria alone there are 45,000 Australian children in out of home care, which includes Foster Care, Kinship Care, Permanent Care, Emergency/Short Term Care, Residential Care and respite. On any one night, over 11,000 children in Victoria are unable to live with their biological parent.
The number of children in care is growing by 11% every year and by 24% for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children. At this rate of growth, almost 26,000 children in Victoria will be in care by 2026.
1 in 33 children across Australia are in need of child protection services.