Kids Hope Australia

Empowering kids to thrive

Our powerful, wellbeing program brings the local community together to transform the lives of children experiencing vulnerability. Through one-to-one mentoring the emotional and developmental needs of children can be met and learning capacity enhanced.

How do we help?

Better academic results

You can’t fill children’s minds if their hearts are empty. A consistent mentor makes it possible for them to succeed academically. 

Better wellbeing

Children become more optimistic, positive, develop better coping strategies and stronger relationships with the help of a supportive mentor.

Better outcomes

Mentors encourage confidence in kids by giving them opportunities to succeed. This often leads to better life choices and healthier behaviours later in life. 

I have done Kids Hope from grade 2 all the way to year 6, with my amazing mentor. I honestly would not be the person I am today if I had not spent all of those years in primary school spending time with her.

Laura Mentor Child

What else would you like to know about?

Kids Hope is the largest, early intervention, school based mentoring program. Since 2004 we’ve worked with schools and churches to provide mentors who offer care, stability, joy and a listening ear to thousands of vulnerable children.

Find out how the Kids Hope program actually works.

We call it the ripple effect. Read about it here.

Take a moment to get to know the people behind the scene.

Love history? Read how Kids Hope got started.

Read our heart-warming stories of transformation here. 

Why do Aussie children need Kids Hope?

Simon Warrick, CEO, shares about childhood wellbeing in Australia and why kids benefit from the care and attention of a mentor.

Our program

One Child. One Mentor. One hour a week.

At its heart, Kids Hope is a simple program. We work with local churches to find caring adults who will commit to spending one hour a week with a child at a local primary school.

Behind the scenes, we’ve worked hard to give our volunteers high quality resources, support and training. This includes transparent structures and rigorous processes that keep children safe.

And we’ve based our model on research. It shows that the presence of one caring, committed adult in a child’s life increases the likelihood that a child will flourish, and become a productive adult as well. Click here to read the research.

I am pleased to report that the principal commented (with tears in his eyes) how absolutely pleased he’s been with the calibre of the people coming into the school.

Mentor VIC

Our Impact

How do we know that Kids Hope works? We evaluate our program every year, and both Griffith and Monash Universities have provided extensive feedback on our model. You can read the 2018 report here.

But the real impact is in the children. Like Emma, who hadn’t spoken to adults for more than two years. After eight weeks of mentoring, the principal was asked if she could see any impact. Her eyes filled with tears as she told how she’d walked by Emma’s mentoring session, and saw she was engaged in animated conversation. What an impact! You can read more heartwarming stories here.

The program also has a RIPPLE EFFECT – in classrooms and schools, as well as in families and communities. (Not to mention that our mentors tell us they get more than they give!)

Our impact stats are quite impressive!

0 hrs

invested into the lives of vulnerable children.

mentors serving in their local communities.
Kids Hope programs making an impact.

gifted to school in the form of free one-to-one mentoring*

*nominal hourly rate x hours invested in 2024

Kids Hope is the best program in the school. The change over the past 10 years has been quite amazing.

Principal VIC

Our Team

Our team is passionate about Kids Hope and is committed to increasing the number of children being mentored each year. They also work hard at providing best practice support and resources to all of our existing programs.

Get in contact with the relevant team to find out how they can help you.

Our Strategic Partners

We can’t do this work alone! Kids Hope is proud to strategically partner with these extraordinary organisations in our mission to help vulnerable children thrive.

Find out more about partnering with Kids Hope and how your organisation can help provide hope in the life of every Australian child.

Our history

In 2002, World Vision set about researching an effective, early-intervention mentoring program for children in Australia. They got excited when they discovered Dr Virgil Gulker and Kids Hope USA.

Decades earlier, Dr Gulker had talked to sociologists, law enforcement, health professionals, educators, and child development experts about how to have the greatest impact on children. He heard the same response over and over again: children need reliable, caring adult relationships

Kids Hope USA began their unique, one-to-one mentoring program in the mid-nineties. When World Vision discovered it, they sent Marylin Leermakers, an employee at the time, to the United States to find out more. The rest, as they say, is history.

  • In 2004 the first pilot programs began under the umbrella of World Vision Australia. Almost 20 churches partnered with local schools to help mentor vulnerable children.
  • In 2013 Kids Hope became uniquely Australian. We registered as an Australian charity and not-for-profit organisation.
  • Today, Kids Hope continues to grow. At last count it has helped over 20,000 children.

We are incredibly grateful for World Vision’s early support and continue in an excellent relationship with them today. 

We’re proud of our history, and we’re excited about our future – with your involvement. Be part of a strong legacy of making a difference in the lives of children.

Stay in touch

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