Many of these are already burdened by Christmas spending pressures, and come to Good Shepherd seeking emergency financial relief to cope with back to school expenses such as school fees, text books and uniforms.
Against a backdrop of ever-increasing costs of living, Good Shepherd provides a number of vital financial support services for struggling families in Melbourne's west.
Our education support fund - generously supported by local water retailer City West Water - supports families in Brimbank whose education is put at risk due to lack of financial resources to cover school expenses. This includes "hidden" costs such as school camps and excursions, which if missed, can cause children to feel excluded and fall behind.
Families with multiple children find it increasingly difficult to support those kids with their uniforms, myki cards and text books - which are often outdated from the previous year leading to second hand books being made redundant.
With education representing the ticket to opportunity for young people, having their education outcomes jeopardised by an inability to meet expenses also puts at risk their long term futures. And with certain communities experiencing long term poverty this issue threatens to entrench cycles of disadvantage in those communities.
Since its inception, our education support fund has helped hundreds of families to pay education expenses. That means more money left over for these vulnerable families to pay essential household expenses.