About Us - The Smith Family
The Smith Family is a national, independent children's charity helping disadvantaged Australians to get the most out of their education, so they can create better futures for themselves.
No one would deny that children are Australia's most vulnerable and precious resource, yet right now more than 605,000 are living in disadvantage* and are unable to access the same educational, health or life opportunities that many of us enjoy and often take for granted. When children are left out, they get left behind and without support, the disadvantage they experience today is likely to continue into adulthood - and on to the next generation.
The Smith Family believes that education is the key to changing lives. As research has shown, supporting a child's education is one of the most effective ways of breaking the cycle of disadvantage and ensuring they can access the same learning opportunities as their peers.
At the centre of The Smith Family's work, and the heart of the organisation, is a belief in the power and possibilities of relationships. For disadvantaged children to thrive, many of whom are growing up in lone parent and jobless households, they need to be connected to, and supported by, an extended family.
Our support is holistic, ongoing and long term.
The Smith Family's Learning for Life program supports disadvantaged children and young people all the way through their education, from pre-school and primary school, to senior school and on to tertiary studies if they choose. This holistic, long term support gives young Australians the assistance they need to develop vital life skills, stay engaged in their education and have the best chance to realise their potential.
Learning for Life support is provided to disadvantaged children and young people in three main ways: through Learning for Life Workers, who connect them to learning opportunities in their local community and also encourage them to fully participate in their education; by enabling access to Smith Family literacy programs and mentoring support; and through financial assistance to help families afford the cost of their children's essential education items.
Learning for Life programs support not only disadvantaged children but also their families who provide the crucial nurturing relationships and supportive learning environments that children need. Parents can access education opportunities themselves to help them develop and build their own skills and abilities.
Learning for Life is informed by research and made possible through The Smith Family's network of strong partnerships with other organisations and individuals working towards its vision of a better future for young Australians in need.
We work in partnership with caring Australians.
The Smith Family's work in 97 Australian communities is extended and enhanced by nearly 19,600 members of VIEW Clubs of Australia together with more than 7,800 volunteers from the community and its corporate partners, who volunteer their time and energy to ensure the organisation reaches children in need.
* Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics (2011) Labour Force Australia:Labour force status and other characteristics of families
A better future for young Australians in need.
Every child deserves a chance.
To create opportunities for young Australians in need by providing long-term support for their participation in education.