Kids First Australia formally completes Whitelion Youth Services merger
Kids First Australia (KFA) and Whitelion Youth Services have formally completed their legal merger, creating a national organisation operating as Kids First Australia that aims to improve the life trajectories of children and young people up to the age of 24 years.
The merger expands Kids First Australia’s footprint further across Victoria and into New South Wales, South Australia and Western Australia. KFA will continue to deliver the programs that Whitelion has become known for, as well as continue to seek to collectively impact and influence systemic challenges through the broad range of services and support they deliver.
The early childhood education and care (ECEC) space will be one of three focus areas for KFA moving forward, along with therapeutic and support programs.
KFA will embed its diverse client voices in service scoping, design and delivery to enhance:
- Education: early childhood and education support;
- Support for children, youth and families: family coaching, mentoring for young people, case management, group work, employment pathways and vocational support; and
- Therapeutic: prevention programs, counselling and recovery.
The merger, KFA Chair Sandy Forbes said, will bring together two organisations that share a rare alignment of values, purpose and ambition.
“Over the last year, we’ve come to know more about Whitelion’s wonderful Directors, staff, volunteers and their evidence-informed programs, which are highly valued by the communities they serve,” Ms Forbes said.
“It’s also confirmed that by merging, we can become an unparalleled force for profound and positive outcomes for the life opportunities of countless Australian children, young people and families who are at risk. I am very excited about what we can achieve as we integrate our combined knowledge and skills to create a better future for children and young people, and their families nationally.”
Her perspective was echoed by KFA CEO Aileen Ashford, who said the demand for support and services for at-risk children, families and highly vulnerable young people is increasing with over 9,000 clients provided services in 2022-23 compared to the previous year.
“Our newly combined family and youth expertise enables KFA to provide a whole family-centred response to enhance the life trajectories of at-risk children and young people. Our goal is for all young people to have every opportunity to be active citizens with equitable access to support they need to reach their potential.”
“By integrating our two organisations, we’ll create efficiencies that will allow us to invest even more in innovation, service delivery and our workforce and volunteers, thereby becoming stronger and more sustainable,” she added.
For more information about the work of KFA, please see here.