Managing director of the FBAA Peter White is on a mission to provide parents and carers of special needs children with hardship relief, funded by donations from the corporate finance sector.
Managing director of the Finance Brokers Association of Australia (FBAA) Peter White has assumed the role of executive chairman of The Sanity Space Foundation, a registered charity designed to support parents and carers of children with special needs.
Mr White, who himself cares for a step-child with special needs, began work alongside his spouse, Janet, to establish the foundation in 2017, receiving approval for ASIC in December of the same year and from the Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission (ACNC) in July of 2018.
Mr White told The Adviser that the charity would seek funding from corporate finance institutions to help fund the foundation’s initiatives, which includes providing time-poor parents and carers of special-needs children with access to information.
“A special-needs parent doesn’t have time, like most of us, to sit down and research,” he said. “Their days are 24/7, full-on, relentless – it never stops with a special-needs child.”
The FBAA head also said that the charity would provide parents and carers with an opportunity to have conversations with those facing similar challenges.
“A lot of people don’t understand what goes on in a family with a special-needs child,” Mr White added.
“The parents tend to clam up a bit and retract.”
He added: “We’ve got support groups in closed groups on Facebook. One of our key drivers at the moment is to encourage people to ‘Like’ our Facebook page so there’s somewhere they can go to have those conversations.”
Additionally, with funding from corporate donors, The Sanity Space Foundation also plans to provide hardship relief for parents and carers struggling to meet financial obligations, including rental assistance, and up to 12 months worth of mortgage repayment relief.
“That hardship relief is a very important component of what we’re doing through the Sanity Space,” Mr White said.
“Our first step is to reach out to everyone in the finance community and say, ‘If you’re a parent of a special-needs child, a carer, or someone in your family has a special-needs child, reach out to The Sanity Space, Like our Facebook page, and keep connected to use through there’.
“We’ll then start talking to the lenders and institutions within the banking sphere and get them to become corporate donors and supporters of the foundation, which will enable us to provide the hardship provisions.”
He added: “Once we’ve got that up, as we go into 2020, we’ll then reach out to all parents and carers of special-needs children.”
Mr White revealed that he’s engaged in talks with government officials, including the Minister for Facilities and Social Services Paul Fletcher.
“We’ll be doing some lobbying where it’s appropriate for the parents as well,” Mr White said.