Building targeted services for Forgotten Australians and Former Child Migrants
The inaugural two-day meeting of Find and Connect support services opened in Melbourne today so staff could share their expertise and knowledge on delivering targeted services to Forgotten Australians and Former Child Migrants.
Today’s roundtable will help build a strong network of frontline Find and Connect staff who will ensure the services delivered are targeted to the specific needs of Forgotten Australians and Former Child Migrants.
The Australian Government has invested more than $10 million for specialist services for Forgotten Australians and Former Child Migrants. These services include:
- personalised support and counselling;
- assistance to obtain records, shed new light on personal histories and reconnect with family where possible; and
- connection and referral to other services such as aged care, health, housing and dental services.
Forgotten Australians and Former Child Migrants can call 1800 16 11 09 (free call) to access these services.
As estimated 500,000 Forgotten Australians and 7,000 Former Child Migrants were placed in non-government homes, orphanages and other forms of out-of-home care last century, with many experiencing loss and feelings of abandonment that have remained with them throughout their lives.
The National Apology to Forgotten Australians and Former Child Migrants in 2009, delivered by the Australian Government on behalf of the nation, acknowledged the abuse and neglect that many experienced, and was an important step in the healing process.
The new Find and Connect services are part of the Government’s $26.5 million Find and Connect package, which also includes the Find and Connect web resource, www.findandconnect.gov.au.
Organisations delivering the support services are:
- Open Place – Victoria
- Lotus Place – Queensland
- Wattle Place (Relationships Australia) – New South Wales and the ACT
- Relationships Australia – South Australia, Tasmania and the Northern Territory
- Child Migrants Trust – Nationally
A tender process is currently under way to select a provider in Western Australia with Find and Connect services expected to begin in September 2012.