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App to support disadvantaged youth

Foster Care Angels is a not-for-profit organisation providing ongoing support for children and their carers in foster care through programs that educate, support and empower vulnerable young people.

Through research into young people and foster care statistics, Foster Care Angels became aware that disadvantaged youth, particularly Indigenous Australians and rural students, experience higher rates of non-completion of school and poorer health outcomes as a result.

To drive better outcomes for disadvantaged youth, Foster Care Angels developed the A-Maze-In Mind Program, an essential life skills program for young people aged between 13 and 24.

The program is first delivered face to face over four weeks to young people living in residential care facilities, and then transitions to online learning via the A-Maze-In Mind App.

The program has been developed by mental health professionals in conjunction with young people to ensure the information is delivered in a format that is appropriate and meaningful to users.

To further enhance the program, The Lottery Office has donated $20,000 enabling Foster Care Angels to add vlogs, bookmarks, favourites and more to the A-Maze-In Mind App.

The Lottery Office CEO Jaclyn Wood said she is thrilled that Foster Care Angels is working to make the program available to young people across New South Whales.

“Access to critical resources through the A Maze in Mind program, will leave a lasting positive impact to many young people facing hardship,” Ms Wood said.

“The impacts of Covid-19 have also taken a toll on our youth, now more than ever, children and young people are feeling the effects of social isolation, a disconnect from support networks, mental health issues and further financial disadvantage.

“The A-Maze-In Mind App will be a fantastic resource for disadvantaged children,” she said.

The app plays a crucial role in connecting with young people, with 9/10 Australian children having a mobile device and covers a range of topics including mental health awareness, building resilience, managing stress and anger, building self-efficacy, healthy relationships and self-esteem.

To reach as many vulnerable young people as possible, Foster Care Angels aims to raise an additional $60,000 in the next 12 months that will help promote the program across NSW. This will cover all administrative costs, involvement of a qualified counsellor and access for up to 1,000 children and young people for the duration of their high school years.

The Lottery Office donates a percentage of the cost of every ticket sold to charities across the country, allowing the organisation to make a positive impact on the lives of everyday Australians.

The Lottery Office urges anyone interested in donating to visit the A Maze In Mind website.