TLC for Kids

TLC for Kids Inc has been recognised for Outstanding Achievement in The Australian Charity Awards 2023. The Australian Charity Award for Outstanding Achievement [OAA] recognises charitable organisations that have achieved outstanding results through initiatives that have significantly benefited charitable causes.

Since 1998, TLC for Kids has relieved and distracted sick children and their families during stressful and traumatic situations. Hospitals across Australia have used their services over 13 million times and counting. Whether it’s a one-off hospital visit or a prolonged illness, TLC for Kids forms part of the extended support network for sick children, providing collaborative care and emergency relief.

Partnered with over 400 hospitals across Australia and New Zealand, TLC for Kids is one of Australia’s most inclusive, trusted and widest-reaching charities. They pride themselves on the relationships they have built with healthcare professionals, ensuring that any child referred to them, with any illness or health condition, from newborn to 21 years of age, is supported in their time of need. TLC for Kids is constantly expanding its reach to meet the demand for the unique services they provide within the healthcare system. TLC for Kids continuously focuses on individualised support services to assist sick children and their families and improve their mental health and well-being during traumatic times.

Tim Conolan AM founded the charity with partner Ana Darras when they saw children falling through the gaps in existing services. Tim has since been appointed a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) and awarded the 2014 Australian of the Year Local Hero for his tireless work. With four unique services, TLC for Kids’ mission is to help bring smiles back onto the faces of sick children and their families. TLC for Kids aims to ensure that no child with medical, emotional, or practical needs slips through the gaps in the healthcare support system.

TLC for Kids has four services, the TLC Distraction Box, Rapid TLC, TLC Ambulance, and TLC for Kids Newest Service – Tap 2 Distract.

The Distraction Box service provides healthcare professionals with the perfect tools to guide young children through painful examinations and procedures. In a medical setting, ‘Distraction’ involves the diversion of attention towards a neutral focus and is proven to reduce distress, anxiety, pain, and the need for sedatives during procedures. The TLC Distraction Box service is one of the widest-reaching charity programs in Australia, providing psychosocial support to children, their families or carers and healthcare professionals. Each TLC Distraction Box is placed in medical treatment and assessment rooms, emergency departments, pathology clinics etc. and contains a variety of specific toys and items that engage the child and divert their attention away from the procedure.

The Rapid TLC Service delivers timely support to help lift the spirits and ease the stress of the child and their family in whatever way they can. This can range from a surprise birthday package, a day out for the family, helping with household costs, or, sadly, assisting with bereavement costs. Upon referral from a healthcare worker, rapid requests are actioned within 24-48 hours, providing instant relief to families needing urgent support.

The TLC Ambulance provides an immersive and engaging experience; it offers a special day out for children in palliative care and their families to visit their most treasured destinations. After each trip, the families receive photos and videos from throughout the day that capture wonderful lasting memories. TLC for Kids is proudly partnered with Ambulance Victoria to provide this service. The TLC Ambulance is the first program of its kind in Australia, offering a personalised, captivating experience distinct from other patient transport vehicles.

TLC for Kids’ Newest Service is the Tap 2 Distract app. Tap 2 Distract provides children with worldwide, anytime distractions that can be accessed at the touch of a button. This app comprises a variety of child-friendly games, each with a specific purpose to help distract and reduce fear for a child during a medical procedure, an immunisation or whilst they are experiencing any form of stress or discomfort. Helping a child have a more enjoyable experience during these stressful times can assist and improve the child’s mental health and general well-being. The app is accessible from any smart device simply by searching in a web browser. The aim is to reduce stress, anxiety and fear of a visit to the doctor or nurse. Parents can also use the app as a resource, especially for children who require medical attention at home. Excited to have launched this service, TLC for Kids looks forward to expanding Tap 2 Distract to reach and help even more children.

To find out more about TLC for Kids, visit

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