Forgotten Australians Information Package
A Forgotten Australian (Care-Leaver) is an adult who spent time in care as a child (that is, under the age of 18). This care could have been foster care, residential care (mainly children's homes) or another arrangement outside the immediate or extended family. The care could have been provided directly by the state through a court order or voluntarily or by the private sector.
Submission to RC
Victoria moves on claims over historical child sexual abuse
The long term impact of a childhood spent in institutional care is complex and varied. However, a fundamental, ongoing issue is the lack of trust and security and lack of interpersonal and life skills that are acquired through a normal family upbringing, especially social and parenting skills.
The inability to initiate and maintain stable, loving relationships was described by many Forgotten Australians who have undergone multiple relationships and failed marriages. Many cannot form trust in relationships and remain loners, never marrying or living an isolated existence.
It’s not just the impact that tragic childhood experiences have had for the Forgotten Australians. Their children and families have also felt the impact, which can then flow through to future generations.
Motion put before the senate 18/11/2014
National Apology to the Forgotten Australians and Former Child Migrants
Senator SIEWERT (Western Australia—Australian Greens Whip) (15:37): I seek leave to amend general business notice of motion No. 507 standing in my name and in the name of Senator Moore relating to the anniversary of the apology to forgotten Australians and former child migrants.
Senator SIEWERT: I move the motion as amended:
That the Senate—
(i) the 5th anniversary of the National Apology to the Forgotten Australians and Former Child Migrants on 16 December 2014,
(ii) that over 500 000 Australians experienced care in an orphanage, or other form of out of home care during the past century and many of these experienced distress, neglect, abuse and assault, and
(iii) That the child migration scheme during the 20th Century is now universally recognised as having been fundamentally flawed with tragic consequences;
(i) the 16 recommendations of the Community Affairs References Committee's report, Lost innocents and forgotten Australians revisited: Report on the progress with the implementation of the recommendations of the lost innocents and forgotten Australians reports (the report), and
(ii) the current Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse but that there are a range of issues identified by the Senate inquiries that are beyond the issues covered by Commission; and
(c) calls on leadership from governments and former providers to work towards the implementation of the remaining recommendations of the report, including the sensitive issues of redress, identity documentation and the need for responsive support for health and housing.
Question agreed to.
Betrayal of Trust
Further important reforms to better protect children following the landmark Betrayal Of Trust report have now commenced.
As of yesterday, new laws apply requiring ministers of religion in Victoria to hold a Working with Children Check, and from today it is an offence to fail to disclose information to police where a person knows or believes that a child has been sexually abused.
Attorney-General Robert Clark said the changes to Working with Children Check laws make clear that all ministers who have contact with children in their congregation as part of their work, or who visit or take part in church schools, kindergartens, Sunday schools, youth camps or any other church activities involving children, need to have a Working with Children Check.
"Ministers of religion, regardless of faith, have a special responsibility through their work that places them in positions of trust and authority," Mr Clark said.
The new requirements for Working with Children Checks will apply to all ministers of religion unless their contact with children is only occasional and incidental. Until now, ministers of religion were not required to hold a Working with Children Check unless they had regular, direct contact with children that was unsupervised.
Mr Clark said strengthening of the requirement for ministers of religion to hold a Working with Children Check was a recommendation of Betrayal of Trust, the report of the bi-partisan Parliamentary Family and Community Development Committee inquiry into the handling of child abuse by religious and other organisations.
Other amendments to Working with Children Check laws that came into effect yesterday make clear that the protection of children is the paramount consideration for all decision-makers when deciding whether to issue a Working with Children Check clearance.
The legislation also includes clearer definitions and offence classifications, and greater powers to revoke a check where a person fails to provide required information.
Delivering on another recommendation of the Betrayal of Trust report, it is now an offence carrying a penalty of up to three years in jail for an adult to fail to provide relevant information to police if they have a reasonable belief that a child has been sexually abused, unless they have a reasonable excuse not to do so.
This law is in addition to current mandatory reporting to child protection authorities.
"The failure to disclose offence means that not only is there a moral obligation to protect children from abuse, there is now a clear legal obligation as well," Mr Clark said.
"This new offence makes clear that if someone knows or believes that a child has been sexually abused, they cannot just keep quiet about it – unless there is a good reason why not, they have a duty to tell the police what they know so that the police can bring the offender to justice and prevent further abuse."
Under the new law, adults who have information that leads them to form a reasonable belief that another adult has committed a sexual offence in Victoria against a child under the age of 16 years must disclose that information to Victoria Police, subject to some exemptions, including:
if a person has a reasonable excuse for not doing so, such as reasonable fear for a person's safety - for example, in a situation of family violence, where a mother fears that reporting the abuse will create a risk to her own or her child's safety; information obtained through the victim seeking medical help or counselling advice;
information provided by a victim after they have reached the age of 16 where the victim requests that the information not be disclosed; and information privileged from disclosure in court proceedings, such as legal professional privilege, journalists' privilege or information provided in a confessional.
Additional information about the new laws is available from the Department of Justice web site at Click Here
Further reforms to hold perpetrators of sexual abuse to account have also come into effect recently, with new laws commencing on 22 October to remove time limits that previously prevented the prosecution of certain sexual offences against children committed prior to 1991.
These new laws are further steps in the Victorian Government's implementation of the Government's response to the recommendations of the Betrayal of Trust report. Other reforms that have been introduced or are being implemented include:
new criminal offences for grooming and for failure to protect children within organisations; legislating for a 'course of conduct' charge to make it easier for repeated and systematic sexual offending to be prosecuted; minimum child safe standards for organisations that have direct and regular contact with children; allowing the Commission for Children and Young People to scrutinise organisations' systems for keeping children safe; a new 'reportable conduct' scheme for organisations with a high level of responsibility for children, requiring them to centrally report all allegations of child abuse to the Commission for Children and Young People; and
requiring all schools, both government and non-government, to implement a policy for responding to allegations of child abuse.
(Source: http://www.vic.gov.au/news/betrayal-of-trust.html 12/11/2014 7:30pm)
The Napthine Government failed to follow the recommendations ‘Betrayal of Trust’, now it ask for the Forgotten Australians Vote, whoever you vote for please if it is was the liberals your vote should go elsewhere.
During the 20th century in Australia, it is estimated that more
than 500,000 children were put into institutional or out-of-home
care under various arrangements.
These people are Forgotten Australian (Care-Leavers, Wardies, Homies, Wards of the State) under the Aged Care Act, but they may also be known as, 'Former Child Migrants' or 'Stolen Generations'. Aged care has been raised as an area of particular anxiety for Forgotten Australian (Care-Leavers, Wardies, Homies, Wards of the State) given their previous experiences in institutional care.
The Australian Government has classed Forgotten Australian (Care-Leavers, Wardies, Homies, Wards of the State) as a special needs group within the Aged Care Act.
The Department of Social Services is developing an information package to raise the awareness of Forgotten Australian (Care-Leavers, Wardies, Homies, Wards of the State) by aged care service providers.
(Source: http://www.myagedcare.gov.au/eligibility-diverse-needs/care-leavers 5th of April 2015. Last updated January 2015)