Dogs For Kids is a not for profit organisation based in Victoria, Australia.
Anyone with a four-legged best friend knows the benefits of their unconditional love and loyalty. Imagine a dog that is not only loving and loyal, but has also been expertly trained to help a child. Our dogs are taught to intuitively prevent bolting, reduce meltdowns and decrease self-harm behaviours. They also help children to sleep better, build confidence and reduce their anxiety.
The comfort and companionship that our dogs provide children is hard to measure, yet so easy to see. It’s a beautiful relationship and one that we are proud to establish and support.
We promote inclusion and break down social barriers in order to realise potential, and foster wellbeing, love and friendship.
Dogs for Kids was founded by qualified guide dog trainer Katie Hunter in 2012. After being involved in a pilot program working with dogs and children living with autism, and seeing the positive outcomes of the relationships, Katie started Dogs for Kids so she could continue facilitating this important work.
Dogs for Kids continues to evolve and has a growing network of clients, trainers, foster families and volunteers.
We exist to make lives better. Our purpose is to promote inclusion and break down social barriers in order to realise potential, and foster wellbeing, love and friendship.
Our practices operate to uphold the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, as well as the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Our Board Members
Tracey joined Dogs For Kids as a volunteer puppy raiser in 2015, later becoming a Board member in 2017. Having worked in the disability sector since 2008, Tracey is driven by a genuine desire to nurture and advance learning and development for all children. Tracey believes in infinite possibilities for children of all abilities and is an advocate of inclusion and equality.
With a diverse background in fundraising, marketing, event management and publicity, Kim has spent the last 14 years working with charities in the home-based palliative care and adult disability sectors. Her extensive expertise is helping Dogs For Kids to build on its fundraising and awareness platforms within the wider community. An avid dog lover herself, Kim is fur mum to two wayward pugs and a cantankerous chihuahua.
Emma’s love of dogs began with her Labrador Nubi, who she lost at age 14 a few years back. After Nubi passed, Emma joined Dogs For Kids as a foster carer, preferring to raise puppies rather than having her own dog. She was as proud as any mum to see her second foster pup Jaffa graduate as an Assistance dog. Emma is also a proud mum to three boys and teaches at a primary school, where her students are always delighted to meet Dogs For Kids pups.
With a love of giving back and all things associated with Dogs, Shae’s Dogs for Kids journey started via a Leading Teams connection. Managing Director of an independent creative marketing agency Plan B Marketing, Shae brings a wealth of knowledge to dig deep into the communications and user experience for Dogs for Kids. A Board member since 2020, Shae and her team of specialists at Plan B Marketing support Dogs For Kids by taking care of our media, digital and print design communications.
Katelyn manages policy and communications for a housing peak body. Her professional background is as a political adviser, specialising in social policy, including the National Disability Insurance Scheme. As a result of her work with the NDIS, she discovered Dogs for Kids. Katelyn believes passionately in equality of opportunity and seeks opportunities to work on projects that bring this value to life. Assistance and therapy dogs, with their transformative impacts, are the perfect embodiment of this. In her spare time, Katelyn enjoys patting neighbourhood dogs and is a student with the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
Sean was introduced to Dogs for Kids by his wife Emma, a fellow Board Member, who suggested they give puppy raising a go after the passing of their own pet Labrador. With their household now raising their fourth Dogs for Kids pup, their entire family is proud to be associated with a wonderful organisation and love hearing stories of the wonderful support that their graduate pups provide to families in need.
Through his own business - BCV Financial Solutions – Sean is pleased to be able to provide Dogs for Kids with pro bono accounting services and access to suitable office space, in addition to the Treasurer role filled at Board level.