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Sometimes when a child gets really sick, the fun, play and laughter of childhood seem to disappear. But sick kids are still kids at heart and the fun shouldn’t stop. This is where Starlight jumps in!

Saluting Captain Starlight and child in Starlight Express Room.We replace pain, fear and stress with fun, joy and laughter. And the result? Kids can forget about being sick and just be kids. We help sick kids and their families take a break and find some much-needed joy and happiness during difficult times.

That's the difference Starlight makes.

We are an integral part of a complete health care system, and work in partnership with healthcare professionals.

Starlight's programs are underpinned by the World Health Organisation's (WHO's) model of social health - improving mental and social wellbeing has a positive impact on overall physical health. *

Research shows sick kids and teens face different challenges to adult patients and are entitled to play, imagine and dream so they can continue to develop physically, mentally and socially. †

We also know families are the main source of support for sick kids, so our programs facilitate family-centred connections to help care for the whole family unit. ‡

Our programs embrace the principles of positive psychology where fun is an important factor in contributing to overall wellbeing. We provide distraction from fear and pain, help sick kids create positive emotions, encourage social interaction, assist with identity formation and build self-esteem. We empower young people to embrace their uniqueness and creativity.

And our research shows we're really good at it too.

At Starlight we're committed to research and evaluation so that our programs are impactful and provide real value to the lives of sick kids, their families and the health professionals we partner with.

We continually measure our impact. A study conducted by PwC in 2012 shows that for every $1 invested into our Starlight Express Room program, there's a return of over $4 to the community. Updated figures in 2018 reflect our extended programs reach and an increased return of $5.70 to the community.

Additionally, Social Ventures reported that for every $1 invested in our Livewire online community for sick teens, around $5 was returned to the community in value. Download SVA Report (file size 483 KB). Source: Social Ventures Australia (SVA) Consulting 2013.

References:
* WHO model of Social Health, 1946. Health is defined as 'a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity'
† Children and Young People's Rights in Health Care Services Charter, 2011.
‡ The Royal Children's Hospital Maternal and Child Health Bureau, 2014.

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