Pyjama day

ReachOut.com staff came to work in their PJs today for Pyjama Day. There’s hot chocolate and onesies and everyone is having a great and comfy time. More importantly than providing a legitimate excuse to wear pyjamas to work, Pyjama Day aims to spread awareness of those living in foster care who might not be so comfy. Get the facts.

ReachOut.com staff in pyjamas
It’s hard to see someone in a One Direction onesie and not ask what they’re doing

What is Pyjama Day?

Today, ReachOut.com staff came to work in their finest sleepwear to celebrate Pyjama Day. There are onesies, furry sleeping gowns and slippers galore. We are spending the day sitting cross-legged at our desks, basking in the glory of having legs no longer restricted by tight jeans and dumb skirts. Some of us are making the most of our new found freedom by hanging out on the couch with our laptops, trying desperately not to nod off. 

But Pyjama day is about more than just being the most comfortable you can possibly be. It’s about giving some thought to the many people who may not be so comfy. Celebrated on July 18 this year, Pyjama Day is about recognizing that there are almost 40 000 children and young people living in foster care right now. Many of them do not have a forever home, and many have never known what it’s like to feel completely comfortable and at ease (like we do, right now, in our tracky daks at the office).

Why does acknowledging foster care matter? Isn’t it good that they have a home?

Indeed, it is good that people living in care have a roof over their head. The foster care system provides a place for children and young people to go when they don’t have a safe environment to live in. There are around 40,000 Australians in care at any one time, and at least 7 times out of 10 this is a great thing for all involved. The foster kids get to maintain a good relationship with their birth parents while they are staying in the foster home, and the foster families become the real deal and get to embrace a new person into their family.

Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. Living in foster care can be really hard.  Often, they’ve had a really tough time with their birth parents, and they’ve been sent to live full time with people they don’t know. Imagine having to stay with your neighbour’s mum’s friend’s cousin every night until someone else who you don’t know tells you you’re allowed to go home. It’s not easy, simple, or ideal.

 
There is also a lot of evidence that shows people who grow up in foster homes are more likely to have their own children removed from their care when they are older. People who grow up in difficult situations are more likely to struggle with mental health issues, substance abuse, or experience domestic violence. The hope of the Pyjama foundation is to inspire and encourage children living in care, so that they have a positive experience and a happier and more fulfilled life. Without the support and understanding of the wider community, organisations like the Pyjama Foundation have a tough time raising awareness (and funds!) to help make this happen.

Well, this sounds great! How can I get involved?

It’s pretty simple really.  On Friday July 18, put your PJs on and wear them out of the house. It’s hard to see someone in a One Direction onesie and not ask what they’re doing, so you can use your pyjamas as a conversation starter and make your community aware of how many young people live in foster care. If you have a workplace, or you’re at school, you can encourage your peers and friends to wear their PJs too. If everyone donates a gold coin, you’ll be raising awareness and cash. The perfect combination for making good things happen.
Last reviewed: 16 July, 2014
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