Today marks the 12th anniversary of the National Apology for Forgotten Australians and Former Child Migrants. This day is a solemn reminder of the terrible abuse and neglect experienced by over 500,000 children removed from their families and approximately 7,000 child migrants displaced from their home countries and placed in institutional homes.
To support people living with this trauma, also known as Care Leavers, the Morrison Government has dedicated $23.4 million to deliver Find and Connect Support Services over the next five years.
Minister for Families and Social Services Anne Ruston said the extended funding would provide more than 3,500 people each year with access to specialist trauma-informed counselling, referral services, peer support, education and social support programs.
“So many people carry the scars of their lost childhoods and as a result struggle with mental health, loss of education and family relationship difficulties,” Minister Ruston said.
“We cannot reverse the wrongs of the past, but this government is dedicated to providing assistance to every Forgotten Australian and Former Child Migrant who needs it.
“True to its name, our national Find and Connect network helps people to uncover their history, trace and reclaim their identities, and build relationships with their families.”
Find and Connect has a dedicated 1800 telephone number to refer Forgotten Australians and Former Child Migrants to appropriate supports, help locate records and where possible, reconnect with family members.
In addition, the Government funds the Find and Connect website which serves as an online resource for people who grew up in institutional care and their families to track down historical records.
Find and Connect contributes to strengthening sector representation for Care Leavers, with funding for the Alliance for Forgotten Australians, Care Leavers Australasia Network and the Child Migrants Trust.
To access Find and Connect Services, call 1800 16 11 09 or visit www.findandconnect.gov.au.