Children in care often suffer from poor self image, which inhibits development and underpins social withdrawal and hostility. A poor self image may have its source in the child not being highly valued in the home setting but can be exacerbated by the further differences that may be imposed on them as children in care, including:

  • inferior clothing and personal possessions
  • restricted access to extra-curricular and non-school sporting and social activities
  • reduced personal autonomy and rights

Peer group pressures often emphasise these differences. Children in care recognise that they are treated differently and interpret these differences as a measure of low personal worth.

The truth is that children in care are victims.

The Alliance believes that children in care have the right to be treated in the same manner as the majority of Australian children, including enjoying the type of accommodation and facilities that most Australian children take for granted.

This is an issue of fairness and compassion, but it is also a practical and economic issue: currently children who are taken into care have on average poor life outcomes with a much greater call on government services throughout their lifetimes.

This imposes steep costs on the community – and a load of human suffering that affects the quality of civil society.

This poor outcome cannot be reversed until we treat children in care as equal to other children in all ways including their standards of care. Equal treatment is essential to positive self image and a positive approach to life.