The Mirabel Foundation was established in Victoria in 1998 and extended into New South Wales in 2003 to support children aged 0-17 who have been orphaned or abandoned due to their parents’ drug use. CEO Jane Rowe founded Mirabel after having witnessed in her work as a drug and alcohol counsellor the devastating effects that drug use has on the children of drug users and the cycle of abuse that repeats itself through generations.
Mirabel fills a niche for children who face not only huge trauma and difficulties but also stigma and shame due to the drug use of their parents. It provides practical and emotional support as well as a safe space where affected children and their carers can connect with others who have had similar experiences.
This children’s charity has 19 years’ experience and currently supports over 1,500 children orphaned or abandoned due to their parents’ drug use, with demand increasing by more than 20% each year. Mirabel does this through a multitude of programs targeting children who frequently have unique needs, and kinship families, primarily aging grandparents, who have given up their plans for retirement to provide a safe home.
Such programs include:
- Assessment and Crisis Support
- Kinship Carer Support Groups
- Mirabel House and Respite
- Family Camps and Events
- Advocacy and Awareness
- Recreation and Social Inclusion
- Therapeutic Groups u Youth Support
These programs are designed to keep vulnerable young people in a nurturing family environment and out of the overcrowded foster and residential care system. All Mirabel’s programs work at restoring a sense of belonging, confidence and hope to these children’s lives whilst at the same time breaking the destructive cycle of addiction.
A recent Social Return on Investment study by Social Ventures Australia found that Mirabel’s intervention creates $6.60 of social and economic value for every $1 invested.
How Third Link is helping
Third Link has provided Mirabel with a one-off $250,000 grant towards the purchase of a new building to house their growing staff and hold group sessions. Thanks to significant funder support, Mirabel was able to secure a building which is currently undergoing renovations in Melbourne’s St Kilda. Additionally, Third Link is providing ongoing funding of $100,000 per year for three years to support the expansion of Mirabel’s work in the NSW Hunter region, where there is particularly high demand.