Healing children with Heal For Life Camps – what are they and how do they work?


What are Heal for Life camps?

Heal for Life camps are residential healing programs for survivors of childhood trauma and abuse. They are run entirely by survivors of childhood trauma, for survivors of childhood trauma and child abuse. They provide a safe place for the healing journey – a place where survivors can be themselves; where everyone understands their pain.

Heal for Life camps are located in the Hunter Valley and provide a weeklong residential camp for young people and children, during which trained counsellors work with the child or young person to address personal issues and develop skills to work through and address those issues.

How do Heal for Life camps work?

Heal for Life programs are run by survivors of child abuse as they are best able to understand what other survivors are going through. Guests at the camp are supported by people who truly understand the pain, confusion and suffering that comes from childhood trauma. Guests are lovingly supported to find and establish a ‘safe place’, re-connect with, and re-empower the ‘child’ part of themselves – the part of themselves that felt the pain and can still be carrying the memories of their trauma, engage in and take responsibility for their own healing journey and counteract feelings of shame or guilt by fully appreciating that childhood abuse was not their fault. Healing programs are based on the latest neuroscience research, combined with anecdotal and intuitive knowledge.

The Wishing Well foundation

The Wishing Well was established in 2010 to offer children in out-of-home care, such as foster care and residential care, a range of healing and treatment options usually not accessible as a free therapy in mainstream health.

The Wishing Well raises funds to enable children and young people to access developmentally-appropriate and trauma-informed treatments shown to be highly effective in dealing with severe trauma and neglect. These therapies respond to the unique needs of each child and young person.

The Wishing Well is a not-for-profit incorporated charity organisation, established and managed by people seeking to improve outcomes for children and young people in out-of-home care and their families. The Wishing Well recognises the importance of the act of giving. We recognise the significance of the participation of community members and all donations are most appreciated.

The Wishing Well operates ethically, effectively and empathically with a view to achieving quality outcomes and a satisfying working environment.

Support the Wishing Well

The Wishing Well uses its funds to help children in need access developmentally-appropriate and trauma-informed treatments including Heal for Life camps. The Wishing Well takes referrals for any child/young person in out-of-home care in NSW.  Applications are assessed by qualified personnel and on a case-by-case basis.  The decision to fund an application is affected by the following:

  • Funding availability
  • The support the child/young person has to access the proposed therapies
  • The capacity and willingness of the Carer Household to support the child/young person
  • Assessment, which recommends and supports the proposed therapy as relevant to meeting the particular needs of the child/young person


The Wishing Well gratefully receives donations, funding and resources through bequests, corporate partnerships, fundraising events, grants, online donations and other fund raising activities. Money donated to The Wishing Well enables traumatised children access to healing therapies. Please see our website for more information:




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