For Kids Sake is a health education non-profit group dedicated to protecting children and their families from one of the most widespread, yet least-recognised, health risks they are likely to face: family separation.

Our Mission

  • To protect the mental health and wellbeing of children from risks associated with family separation and division, including all forms of harm, violence, emotional and psychological abuse;
  • To ensure that childrens’ rights and needs in relation to family relationships are widely understood, protected and observed, in accordance with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child

Our Vision

An international community where children’s needs and rights are truly put first whenever families separate and where everyone has the knowledge and understanding to play a part in preventing the child abuse and family violence that so often accompany separation, particularly through traditional legal and court systems.

Our Values

  • To treat everyone with respect and courtesy
  • To put the internationally recognised rights and the fundamental needs of children first
  • To make accurate, balanced and gender-neutral information readily accessible to the whole community
  • To support and inspire those who can benefit from knowledge and experience we share
  • To be patient, compassionate and understanding, yet determined and persistent for the long-term tasks ahead
  • To make a positive, sustainable contribution to our community

Our Purpose

For many children, separation is a major childhood trauma that affects their mental and physical health for the rest of their lives. It affects their behaviour and their education, and can lead to serious social problems, self-harm and even suicide.

For many parents, separation is the most stressful period of their entire lives, creating unfamiliar and frightening situations and extreme emotions. It’s a time when many parents need considerable help for themselves – and help to be able to do what’s best for their children. And it’s a time when children need their parents most.

We believe that we need to do much more to make sure children and their families have easy access to the information and professional help that they need before, during and after separation.

We need to make sure that all professionals that work with separated families, and especially with children, are properly qualified in this specialized field. Far too few professionals have the necessary skills and experience – and, sadly, many cause further harm.

We need to find alternatives to the current family court experience. It’s far too slow, it’s beyond the finances of most families, and its adversarial nature escalates family conflict. This only increases the harm for our children.

Australia’s family courts deal with over 200,000 adults every year and, although the majority of families avoid actual trials, our family courts set the tone for family separation throughout the country; they affect outcomes for children even in families that avoid court proceedings.

For our kids’ sake, we need to find alternative, better ways of dealing with family breakdown.

And we need to work together to help our community, and our decision-makers, understand that family separation must no longer be treated first and foremost as a legal issue. It must instead be recognized as the major health and child welfare issue that it is – one that directly affects millions of Australians and indirectly, the whole of our society.

The financial costs of doing nothing run into billions of dollars every year. The personal, human costs – for generations of Aussie kids and their families – is incalculable.

You can contribute to our work through donations, by working with us, or by becoming involved in developing and advocating better ways of dealing with the health and child welfare crisis that is family breakdown today.

We need to make a difference, for kids’ sake. Together, we can.

Our Board

Karen

Karen Clarke                                               For Kids Sake Ambassador

Karen is the author of From Bullied to Brilliant, a fresh look at the nature of bullying and how best to deal with it, and Director of Powerful Positive People. A qualified Trainer of NLP and Time Line Therapy® Coach, Karen helps children, adults, performers and athletes overcome confidence and self-esteem issues. Karen has a broad understanding of the dynamics of personal interactions, particularly bullying and social isolation, through both her professional and personal life. As a coach, she has seen how even the most hostile of parents, in seemingly intractable disputes with (ex-partners), can be supported and coached towards better outcomes for themselves and their families. She is For Kids Sake’s first Ambassador.

Kathryn

Kathryn Barrett | BSpThy (Qld), MA (Macq)

As a speech pathologist, foundation manager and tutor in linguistics for over 20 years, Kathryn pioneered non-speech systems and assistive technology for people with disabilities before managing a market research office and working in the area of corporate social responsibility for one of the major banks. Kathryn has a Cert IV in Teaching English as a Second or Other Language and in Training and Assessment. Her previous pro bono work includes boards and committees in the areas of disability, severe communication impairment, rehabilitation & assistive technology and philanthropy. Currently working as a producer and researcher for community radio, she has a passion for family history.

Ruth

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Ruth Blundell | JP BSc (Hons)

Ruth studied environmental science and accountancy before choosing a career in pharmacy. Before moving to Australia in 2003, she was registered as a pharmacist and managed a number of pharmacies for the Co-op group in the UK. A step mum to 2 boys, Ruth today manages a team of 4 in an independent community pharmacy in Sydney and is particularly interested in the area of mental health.

David

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David Curl | MA (Oxf), PhD (Monash)

Father, film-maker, writer & biologist, David’s career bridges art and science. Former Board Member of the Australian Directors Guild and Australian Cinematographers Society, and contributor to the development of film/TV industry policy, he has filmed for international productions, from David Attenborough’s Trials of Life to Baz Luhrmann’s Australia, and produced two of Australia’s most successful factual films, The Call of Kakadu & Silhouettes of the Desert, which reached over 100 million in 40 countries. Beyond his media work for TV, radio, film & magazines/books, David has been active in wildlife conservation (working with the Jersey Wildlife Preservation Trust and the late Gerald Durrell on IUCN Red List Threatened Species) and children’s rights – campaigning for family law reform in Australia and overseas – and enjoys watching wildlife, playing sports and music, and sharing time with children.

Paul

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Paul Mallett | BEng (Comms) (Curtin)

Father of three children, former Army Reservist and Martial Arts instructor, Paul manages a team of computer programmers for a Fortune 500 company and, occasionally, still manages to write some code himself. With family experience of mental health disorders, health treatment programs, including direct counselling, and carer support programs, Paul has developed a considerable understanding of, and interest in, the relationships between mental health, family separation and child welfare.

To get away from the pressures of modern life, Paul likes nothing more than to pitch a tent with his kids anywhere that doesn’t have phone coverage.

Simon

Simon Ray | BSc Environmental Protection

Simon has qualifications in environmental protection and audio engineering and is an event producer, documentary film-maker, writer and former competitive martial artist. He is the father to a wonderful daughter and has become a passionate advocate for the rights and welfare of children experiencing family separation as he firmly believes in trying to make the world a better place.