The core Australian value of a 'fair go' assumes that everyone gets an equal chance. But children taken into care start well behind most others.

For the most part they start out traumatised by abuse and neglect and don't have the family support most kids do. Instead, they are going to be moved around and have to adjust to different situations and a changing parade of people. Where most children get continuity, security and the firm base of their own space, possessions and place in a family, children in care may never belong and their scant possessions must be able to be gathered up and moved quickly.

They start out lagging behind at school, developmentally and socially, and too often instead of help to catch up, they get further restrictions and stigma inhibiting their ability to develop friendships and a social life.

It's not a fair go – it's not the response most parents would give to their own child needing help – and it leads in many cases to poorer social, employment and health outcomes, greater dependence on welfare – and often a cycle that is passed on to the next generation.

The Alliance believes that every child deserves a fair go, especially when they have been denied the secure base of a family.