Kids Hope Australia

Frequently Asked Questions

Got questions about the Kids Hope one-to-one mentoring program? We’d love to answer them.

Parents and Carers

Your child’s school will identify the children they think will benefit from being part of the Kids Hope one-to-one mentoring program. If you’d like your child to take part, you can contact your school, however, the school makes the decision about how to allocate resources.
Parents and carers must give written permission for their child to take part in the Kids Hope program. If you don’t want your child to take part, you can contact the school and let them know.
Mentors meet with child participants in the program at school. Everything is arranged by the school. Generally parents do not meet their child’s mentor, however if you have concerns, you can discuss it with your school.

The Principal and the well-being team at your child’s school are your point of contact for any concerns or questions.

Kids Hope values child safety as our highest priority. We have a rigorous training and screening process, and we ensure that all our mentors and coordinators stay up to date with child safety legislation and best practice. Our mentors also undergo training in child development and are given guidance as to age-and-stage-appropriate activities to bring to their mentoring sessions. See more here.

If you can’t find the information you’re looking for, please head to our Parent information page.

The Program

Kids Hope is the largest, early intervention, school based mentoring program for children who are experiencing vulnerability. 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.

Mentors must apply to become part of the Kids Hope program through a local church. They follow a rigorous screening process laid out by Kids Hope and must complete child safety training every year. Mentors also undergo training in child development and check in regularly with Kids Hope coordinators.

Mentors can choose what activities would best suit their mentor child. Kids Hope provides ideas for activities on a regular basis, including resources for helping a child celebrate school milestones like graduation from Year 6.

Studies show that the presence of one or more caring, committed adults in a child’s life increases the likelihood that children and youth flourish, and become productive adults themselves. The Kids Hope one-to-one mentoring program is based on evidence and best practice. We also commission external audits to evaluate our program. The 2018 Monash Report clearly indicates the improved wellbeing of children and the many other key strengths of the program. Read the report here.

Dr Virgil Gulker began Kids Hope USA after talking to sociologists, law enforcement, health professionals, educators, and child development experts about what sort of program would have the greatest impact on children. In 2004 the first Aussie pilot programs began under the umbrella of World Vision Australia. In 2013 Kids Hope registered as an Australian charity and not-for-profit organisation. Read more on our history.

Mentors from churches have a strong sense of duty and a call to faithful service for their local community. The children in Kids Hope mentoring programs often lack a sense of stability because of their life circumstances. The willingness of mentors to commit for the long term is known to contribute towards positive outcomes for the children. Each mentor is expected to have an active church life (which demonstrates commitment and stability) and a willingness to commit to at least 12 months of participation. Additionally, church members are often known by reputation to the broader community. Being connected and known is an integral step in our rigorous screening processes.

You can apply to be a Kids Hope mentor through a local church program. Or you can ask your church to partner with Kids Hope and a local school to begin a new program. Either way, if you fulfil the requirements to be a Kids Hope mentor, and are willing to undergo the required screening, training and supervision, you can become a mentor.

Kids Hope is Australia’s largest primary school-based, one-to-one mentoring program. And it is totally unique! Why? Because schools and churches work together to impact the lives of Aussie kids experiencing vulnerability.

While churches pay an annual licencing fee, Kids Hope doesn’t charge local primary schools for mentors. In fact, the income from the licencing fees covers less than 40% of our costs. To ensure Kids Hope is available to any government school who needs it, we ask our local communities to help. Sadly, we have a waiting list of schools.

But… if we could fund more mentors, we could reduce that waiting list and increase the number of children being impacted. Kids Hope welcomes your generous support. Donations help us train co-ordinators and mentors, provide program support and best-practice resources, invest in independent research and ensure child safety. Click here to donate. 

Child protection is a key priority. To ensure that the Kids Hope program and mentors continue to adhere to the highest level of child protection policy standards we partner with ChildSafe. This includes ongoing updates to our program and ensures mentoring training exceeds State and Federal regulations.

The Kids Hope program is evidence-based. This means we invest in independent research and annual evaluations enabling the safe delivery of best practice mentoring.

Additionally, Kids Hope provides daily support and hundreds of exclusive resources to all new and existing programs.

But the real reason is the impact on children, their families and community. The success stories are numerous! Just one Primary School in QLD saw a reduction from 900 behavioural incidents to 300 in just 12 months. The principal attributed this solely to the introduction of Kids Hope mentors into his school. Click here to donate.

For more information about Kids Hope, got to our About Us page.


Get in touch with Kids Hope directly for more information on how to get our one-to-one mentoring program up and running. Or check out our School information page. 

Nothing! The Kids Hope program is offered completely free to schools. Churches pay a licensing fee to run the program for you. Read our School information page to find out more.

Kids Hope, in partnership with a local church, screens and trains mentors, with particular focus on child safety. All Kids Hope coordinators and mentors are required to read the Child Protection Manual and complete the relevant Child Protection Statement before commencing mentoring for the very first time, and again at the beginning of every school year.

Every year we hear from teachers, mentors and students who say that the Kids Hope program benefits individual students in genuine, tangible ways, which in turn has an effect on families, schools and the broader community. One school directly traced a reduction in behavioural issues to the introduction of Kids Hope mentoring. But we don’t just have stories to tell. Our 2018 Monash Evaluation Report showed that 95% of teachers said Kids Hope improves the emotional health and wellbeing of children and 99.5% of teachers surveyed said they would recommend Kids Hope for other students. Click here to read the report. 

If we haven’t answered your question, then please go to our school information page.


Contact Kids Hope via our website, email or give us a call. A Kids Hope staff member will help you find out all you need to know and engage with leadership and staff for approval and commitment to start a program.

Churches partner with Kids Hope and a local school with the intention of enhancing the lives of children and building relationships with their local communities. It provides a practical way for volunteers to serve and do good in the community.

The first person to be appointed is a Coordinator who will manage the program, liaise with the school and continue to run the program. They are required to attend an online training day where they are resourced to recruit and train mentors. They can start with a small number of mentors and recruit more as the program continues to grow. Our head office provides full support as they coordinate their program.

For more information head to our Church information page.

Didn’t find an answer to your question?

It is such a powerful engagement when churches and schools work together for the sake of the children. The feedback from pastors and principals has been overwhelmingly positive and there is clear evidence that Kids Hope works. Young lives have been transformed!

Tim Costello, Former CEO of World Vision Australia & Kids Hope Patron

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