Helen Yeo local Pyjama Foundation volunteer with MP David Janetzki.
Helen Yeo local Pyjama Foundation volunteer with MP David Janetzki.

Volunteers needed as region's foster children struggle

WITH more than 2000 children living away from home across the south west region, the Pyjama Foundation is determined to make a difference in their lives.

Pyjama Foundation CEO Bronwyn Sheehan said that volunteers known as Pyjama Angels, are screened, trained, recruited and then matched with a child living in foster care. 

Together, they spend an hour a week reading books aloud, playing educational games and engaging in fun activities.

"The Love of Learning Program was developed by the Foundation to empower children in foster care with learning, life skills and confidence with the aim of changing the direction of their lives," Mrs Sheahan said. 

"A Pyjama Angel's role is to provide consistent love and support, and most importantly, instil a love of learning in children," she said.

The Pyjama Foundation is looking for more volunteers to help foster children learn and grow.

Member for Toowoomba South David Janetzki said research indicated that their health, learning and emotional well-being will had suffered in comparison to their peers

"Prior to entering the foster care system many of these children have missed out on stable, positive, and healthy family relationships," Mr Janetzki said.

"Research indicates that their health, learning and emotional well-being will have suffered in comparison to their peers."

In Toowoomba, there are 73 children living away from home being supported by the Pyjama Angels, but with 34 children on the waiting list the Pyjama Foundation needs help to continue supporting vulnerable children in the region.

Anyone looking to support this life-changing work visit www.thepyjamafoundation.com.

THE STATISTICS

  • 25.6% of foster kids report having problems at school
  • 92% of children in care have below average reading skills by the time they are 7 years of age, and it is a struggle for them to catch up
  • 75% of children are not completing high school
  • 35% of children in care are entering the juvenile justice system


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