The Miracle sMiles Program

Children First Foundation’s Miracle sMiles Program facilitates life-saving and life-changing surgery in Australia for children from developing countries.

Complex surgery not readily accessible in developing countries

These children cannot access the medical care they desperately need, as the complex and often multiple surgical procedures required are not available in their own countries.

By collaborating with exceptional Australian surgeons, health professionals and hospitals, and with the generous support of our donors, we help these children access world-class surgical and medical care in Australia. And a chance to transform their lives.

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Watch the video above to see some of our recent children and young people’s transformations. 

Medical conditions we assist with

Conditions must be operable and not able to be treated in the child’s country. We help facilitate surgery and treatment for a range of conditions, including:

Plastic and Reconstructive surgery (including burns)
Renal and Urology
General surgery
Otolaryngology Head and Neck

Referring a child

Children can be referred by family members, members of the child’s community, surgeons, health professionals and or individuals travelling overseas. You must have the permission of the parent or guardian to refer a child. You can find out more about referring a child here.

Once a case is accepted and we have secured and coordinated a medical team in Australia, we assist families in securing passports and arranging and funding visas and travel.

The Children First Foundation Retreat

Pre and post-surgery, the children (and accompanying legal guardians) are cared for at our Retreat in Kilmore, Victoria. 24/7 holistic care is provided by a team of skilled and dedicated staff and volunteers to maximise the results of each surgery.

This unique community-based care model offers a ‘home-away-from home’ for the children as they prepare for and recover from life-changing surgery. As most of the kids we help, undergo complex surgery and treatment that requires a significant recovery period. Therefore, the care provided at The Retreat is critical to the overall positive outcome of their treatment. The Retreat benefits from a fully equipped physiotherapy room, a rehabilitation pool and regular access to physiotherapists.

The hospital and medical teams we work with

We are very fortunate to partner with many world-class hospitals and highly skilled surgeons who kindly donate their time and resources to treating our children. We try to match the child with these hospitals and surgeons wherever possible. Find out more about our Program Partners.

In some cases where we cannot secure pro-bono support or where a child needs to be treated at a public hospital such as The Royal Children’s Hospital or Monash Children’s Hospital, we will need to raise additional funds to pay for their surgery and care. 

Care around Australia

It's not just in Victoria where we support children, the Miracle sMiles program delivers care across Australia including at: 

- The Retreat (Victoria) 
- In South Australia
- In New South Wales
- And occasionally in other states and territories

Return home 

Once a child returns home, we maintain regular contact to ensure they progress well. We also make sure that they can access ongoing medication, treatment and other critical supplies needed. Further support is also available through our Back-Home-Support Program.