CareSouth’s Aunties & Uncles program has been helping children, young people and families for many years.
When a child’s having a tough time, a positive influence can make a huge difference and this program does just that. Aunties & Uncles supports vulnerable children between three and 12-years old and their families by connecting them with a volunteer carer who becomes a mentor and role model to the young person.
The program has been ever so successful, expanding over the years, and is offered in the Illawarra, Shoalhaven and Batemans Bay.
If you’d like to volunteer as a carer or know of a child or family that would benefit from this program, we’re here to help.
Childhood can be stressful
Families face all sorts of pressure which can impact a child’s happiness, self-esteem, and well-being. Aunties & Uncles supports children by carefully matching them with trained volunteers from all walks of life. By helping them ease some of the pressures of life, a child is able to meet new people and have new experiences. As we always say around here, it takes a village to raise a child.
Helping in big and little ways
The success of the program is in its simplicity. You can be an Aunty or Uncle by spending quality time with the young person and engaging them in everyday activities like walking the dog, cooking a meal together, taking them to soccer or dance training, or watching a movie together.
Creating happy childhood experiences for vulnerable young people helps them gain valuable life skills and feel a sense of purpose and worth. This raises their self-esteem and develops trust in others, and it can be life-changing.
We’re not asking for a huge commitment
Can’t commit to a full weekend visit? Think you’re too young? Too old? Just tell us what you can give. Arrangements and visits with a child can be flexible and negotiated so that it works best for both of you.
To be an Aunties & Uncles’ carer, we welcome warm, understanding people from all backgrounds, beliefs and stages of life. If you’re over 21, big-hearted and determined to help kids grow into confident adults, then you’re just what we’re looking for. All we ask is that you can demonstrate previous experience supporting children in either a work or personal capacity.
What matters most is that you see each other often enough to establish a strong, valuable connection – one that is built to last.
Benefits to children
The young people the Aunties & Uncles program works with often have limited connections to the wider community which can lead to social isolation. Vulnerability experienced across several areas of life can lead to substantial impacts on health, welfare, education, and care, often leading to adult mental health issues, alcohol and drug issues, crime, unemployment, homelessness, and overall unhappiness.
The Aunties & Uncles program is proven to have a positive impact on a child’s connection to community, academic performance, physical activity, time spent outdoors, and improved mental health and wellbeing.* What’s better than giving a child a sense of hope for the future?
So what do you think about becoming a CareSouth Aunty or Uncle? Or perhaps you’d like to refer a child or family that would benefit from this program? We encourage you to get in contact with us today via the below details and we can talk next steps.
* Reference – Research published in a peer reviewed journal: ‘Using participatory methods to evaluate the impacts of an early intervention program on CYP’, Dr Kylie Evans-Locke and Ching-I Hsu, Evaluation Journal of Australasia, August 4, 2020