Frequently Asked Questions About Referrals

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How can I refer a child to Children First for treatment?

You can complete the on-line referral form.

What conditions do you accept?

We help a range of conditions including orthopaedic, craniofacial, burns and plastics, renal and urology cases. The condition must be operable and unable to be treated in the child’s country; we seek this confirmation from Australian surgeons who partner with us

What age group do you help?

As a rule, we accept children aged under 18 years.

Where do the children come from?

Children First’s Miracle sMiles program helps children from Australasian, Asian, African and Middle-Eastern regions

How much will it cost? – we have no money

All accommodation, living and medical costs are covered by Children First Foundation. Costs related to arranging passports and a medical visa are to be met by the child’s family/community. If it is possible for the family, we ask a contribution towards airfares.

How do I arrange a passport and a visa?

If accepted for treatment in Australia we will provide guidance to arrange the necessary documentation.

Can both parents travel with the child?

Where a child needs to come to Australia with a care-giver, we ask that the child’s mother accompanies the child.

I have a baby as well as my sick child – can I bring the baby?

Where the child’s mother has other children to look after at home who cannot be taken care of by their father we will work with the family to make other arrangements.

I have other children – do I have to travel and stay with my child in Australia?

We can discuss this to arrange a suitable plan.

Where will my child stay while in Australia?

You child will be cared for at our Miracle sMiles Retreat, with children from other countries who in our care.

Who will care for my child if I’m not there?

Your child will have the best medical care from excellent surgeons and hospitals. All the children are cared for by our staff and volunteers at our Miracle sMiles Retreat.

How long will my child be in Australia?

When the surgeon accepts your child’s case he/she will give us an approximate time. This will depend on the complexity of your child’s treatment.

What happens if the medical visa expires while we are still in Australia?

We will organise the extension of the medical visa for you.

My child has been accepted – why is it taking a long time?

Cases that are deemed to be urgent are given special consideration. Timing is dependent on the availability of hospital beds and the surgeon’s operating schedules. Delays with immigration, visas and accommodation can also impact on the timing of treatment for a child.

My child can’t speak English?

Most of the children who come here do not speak English and we look for support in the community for people who speak your native language. We also organise interpreters for all major medical appointments. Once they’re here children learn English very quickly.

Will I be able to contact my child while he/she is in Australia?

Yes. We ensure children remain connected to their family.

What clothing will my child need?

Australia’s climate varies. We provide necessary clothing for your child

What will my child eat?

We try to provide food your child likes. We encourage your child to eat food that will be served in hospital.

What religions do you help?

We help children from all cultures and beliefs

Will I / my child be able to pray?


Will I / my child be able to attend church?

We make every effort to take parent and child to church wherever possible.