We want to provide a buddy to each child that enters our program. Buddy's can be anyone from the age of 18 up.
We will try to match the child to a buddy that is compatible. With consideration to similar likes and activities etc.
The buddy that is assigned to the child will remain with them throughout their entire time with the Foundation. We believe that a constant presence over a difficult time in their life can make a huge difference.
The buddy will be the one the child may call if they need someone to talk to, or are having a bad day. Or need to escape.
If the child has Dr's appointments the buddy can provide support for that also. We know that kids don't talk to their parents allot but a buddy maybe the next best thing.
We believe that even just that one constant presence in their world of always changing things like Dr's, could make a difference.
It was our experience that kids quite often find it difficult to open up at all. And when you factor in changes like Dr's leaving, and then having to go through it all again with the next one, sometimes it just becomes too much and they don't go back at all. I know baylin went through at least 4 Dr's in his struggle. And I know his medications were changed at least 4 times. A buddy can be there. Just be their constant. Their comfortable.
The buddies will be very important people and a big part of our organization. They will have to undertake a short course so they will have the tools to interact in a positive way with their child. It is important to understand at no point are the buddies counselors. That is not their role. They are there as support networks. Buddies also will have their working with children checks and police checks approved.
Parents must be comfortable with their child's buddy and know they will be looked after at all times.
I know myself as a parent I struggle a little with the thought that my child would rather have someone else to talk to. To confide in. But unless you are one of the very lucky ones that has a child willing to discuss everything with you, trust me when I say that your child is better to have someone than no one at all.
Buddies must also consider whether they are able to make the commitment of maybe 5 or more years to their child. This is so important as we don't want the kids to have to change buddies. It defeats the purpose of providing the constant presence in their lives.
But having said that we understand that ultimately no one knows where they'll be in a few years time.
Being a buddy is something you must really want to be. As such we won't be asking people if they'll do this. You must contact us and express your interest. It's a big decision. And I do not want there to be any pressure to be one. It must come from you.