A country as wealthy as Australia should not have 1 in 6, or more than 774,000 children, living in poverty. Children deserve the best start in life.

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What we do

St Vincent de Paul offers a range of assistance aimed at children, parents and families to help them achieve their full potential. This assistance takes many forms, from home visitation and emergency relief, through to early intervention and respite programs. 

Services for children, parents and caregivers vary by state and territory and include:

  • Education support such as help with meeting education costs (uniforms, books, equipment, school camps)
  • Home visitation program
  • Children and Young People programs
  • Child and Family Support Programs (including parent education and support programs)
  • Children’s activities such as kids’ camps, buddies’ days, respite programs, and homework and support groups

National Council is committed to the safeguarding of children and adults at risk. See our Safeguarding of Children and Adults at Risk Policy for more information.


We are strong advocates for providing all children with equal access to the best start in life. This means having a safe and secure home, a household income above the poverty line, being able to access all forms of education from early childhood onwards, being able to access the full range of health services for all family members and being loved, nurtured and supported through strong family, social and community networks.  

Among different family types, children in sole parent families have highest poverty rates at 39%. Children living in poverty not only face financial hardship – their long-term health and wellbeing are undermined, and they are more likely to face food insecurity, lack good relationships and miss out on learning at home. 

Growing up in poverty is a strong predictor of a child being developmentally vulnerable by the time they start school, potentially reducing good health, education and social outcomes. In disadvantaged areas, this increases to more than one in three children.

The first 1,000 days of a child’s life is an important foundational period which shapes their development and wellbeing. Children thrive when they have supportive environments in these early years. Resources to support parents and caregivers are essential, as well as free access to early childhood education particularly for vulnerable families. 

Finally, men and women who have experienced or witnessed abuse before the age of 15 years are three times more likely to experience partner violence as an adult compared to those who have not previously experienced or witnessed abuse. 

We call for:

  • A halving of child poverty by 2030
  • An increase to the base rate of working age payments to lift people out of poverty, particularly for Parenting Payment (Single) recipients
  • Free access to quality childcare and early childhood education for children and households experiencing disadvantage
  • Increased funding to build safe and secure social and community housing
  • Increased funding to help end family and domestic violence within one generation.

Learn more

Do you need help?

We're here to help - we offer local services in all states and territories.

Good works

Learn about the work our Overseas Partnership Program does in Asia and the Pacific.

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