SIDS and Kids Hunter Region is a non-profit charity organization that works to provide bereavement support to the families who have experienced the death of a child during pregnancy, birth, infancy and childhood. It aims to educate, research and provides grief support to the affected families. The death may be due to any of the reasons including miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, still birth, termination, accident or death of a child up to 6 years of age. It is headquartered in Melbourne and has offices in each state and territory of Australia.
The mission of the organization is to make a difference in the lives of the parents who have suffered the loss of a child, through education and research.
The vision of the SIDS and Kids is to heal the bereaved families and find the answers to their misfortune. It fulfills its vision through quality education, adequate research, evidence based intervention proper advocacy.
The aim of SIDS and Kid’s Hunter Region is to save the lives of babies and children through the prevention of sudden and unexpected child deaths during pregnancy, birth and childhood. It also supports the bereaved families to bear their loss and funds research into stillbirth.
The SIDS and Kid’s Hunter Region was established in 1977 with the beginning of the Sudden Infant Death Research Foundation Inc. by Kaarene Fitsgerald after herself experiencing the death of her child by SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). In 1986, a National SIDS Council of Australia was formed after the SIDS organization network grew in other states and territories. In 2002, the organization was renamed as SIDS and Kids to highlight the organization’s history and reason for establishment. Since its inception, it has broadened its services beyond SIDS to support the families who have suffered the loss of a child regardless of the reason. Today, SIDS and Kids has grown to become a national organization with offices and support centers in every state and territory of Australia. It has its national office in Victoria.
The organization provides 24 hour bereavement support line, bereavement education, drop in centre, professional counseling, peer support, support groups, family services newsletter, memorial services, referral and advocacy. Since 1989, these services have resulted in 80% reduction in Sudden Unexpected Deaths in Infancy (SUDI) in Australia. It has managed to save the life of more than 7500 babies. It has spent almost $16,000,000 on education and research on infant and child death and its prevention. All this has been possible due to the unflinching support of the sponsors and 1500 enthusiastic volunteers.
The SIDS and Kids Programs and Services include the following main areas:
- Funds research into still birth and other areas of sudden and unexpected child deaths.
- Maintain a sound focus on SIDS and other support and education programs.
- Extend support and counseling to the bereaved families who have experienced the sudden and unexpected death of their infant or child regardless of the cause.