Northern suburbs sisters Care Bags initiative provides comfort to foster children

Clancy (Butler) with her son Tyler (14) and Sarah Clancy (Ridgewood) and her daughter Caylee (9) and her son Jesse (11). Photo: Martin Kennealey
Clancy (Butler) with her son Tyler (14) and Sarah Clancy (Ridgewood) and her daughter Caylee (9) and her son Jesse (11). Photo: Martin Kennealey

NORTHERN suburbs sisters Sarah and Rachael Clancy launched an initiative to support vulnerable children going into care earlier this year.

Sarah said more than 1250 people had joined the ‘Care Bags – because children in care matter’ Facebook group since they started it 10 weeks ago.

“There has been a fantastic response to date but we are trying to spread the word to be able to reach even more vulnerable children,” the Ridgewood resident said.

Collectively members of the group have packed and donated about 320 care bags, which the sisters give to the Department of Communities to distribute to children coming into foster care.

One of the care bags. Photo: Martin Kennealey

“Children enter care often under circumstances that can be quite traumatic with at times the child having little more than the clothes they are wearing,” Sarah said.

“Our aim is that every child who enters care receives a care bag to provide them with comfort but more importantly a message that someone cares.

“We want kids to have enough to get through the first couple of days.

“The care bags will contain toothbrush and toothpaste, hair brush, pyjamas, two outfits of clothes and a comfort item.”

Sarah said the comfort items could be teddy bears, blankets, journals, story books, toys or colouring-in books.

She said they had already distributed bags to child protection offices across Perth and planned to deliver more to regional offices such as Kalgoorlie, Laverton and the Wheatbelt.

“We are starting to go to the regional areas – they probably have a greater need than the cities because their access to shops is less,” she said.

The mother-of-two said their children had been involved in putting together the bags, and many other parents were taking the same approach.

“We get a lot of private messages from people who are getting their children involved; teaching them to give back,” she said.

Sarah said their goal was to donate 1000 care bags by Christmas because statistics showed more than 1000 protection orders had been granted for children in care each year in the past two years.

To get involved, join the ‘Care Bags – because children in care matter’ group.

National Child Protection Week starts on Fathers’ Day and runs until September 8. Visit www.napcan.org.au.