People who lived in institutional settings before 1990

People who were in institutional settings as children before 1990 can receive support. We acknowledge that there are multiple ways individuals and groups identify themselves including but not limited to care leavers and Forgotten Australians.

The Victorian Government is committed to providing ongoing support to Victorians who experienced child abuse and neglect in institutional settings before 1990.

Parliamentary Apology

On Thursday 8 February 2024, Premier Jacinta Allan made a formal Apology in Parliament, to Victorians who experienced abuse and neglect as children in institutional settings before 1990.

A recording of the Apology can be viewed on the Parliament of Victoria website.

Redress

The Victorian Government is will provide redress for people who experienced abuse and neglect as children while living in institutional settings before 1990.

Consultation

Consultation with people with lived and living experience, their families and key stakeholder groups on redress closed on Friday 14 June 2024.

Independent facilitators will use de-identified information collected to prepare a report for the Victorian Government.

If you participated in the consultation and would like to withdraw your information from the consultation, you can let us know by 30 June 2024. This means that we will not use your input in designing redress. 

If you would like to receive updates on redress, please email VictorianGovernmentRedressScheme@dffh.vic.gov.au.

Advance redress payments

An advance redress payment of $10,000 is available for people who were physically, emotionally or psychologically abused or neglected as children in institutional settings in Victoria before 1990 and are terminally or critically ill. Visit Advance redress payments for more information.

Advance redress payments will be available until redress starts.

More information

FAQs - Victorian Redress for people who have experienced historical abuse and neglect.

It is estimated more than 90,000 children were placed in institutional settings in Victoria prior to 1990. Many of them experienced abuse and neglect. The challenges people faced have been documented in numerous inquiries including:

Available services and supports

Open Place

Open Place is a support and advocacy service that coordinates and provides direct assistance to people who grew up in Victorian orphanages and homes prior to 1990.

Relationships Australia Victoria manages Open Place services in Victoria. This includes:

  • advocacy, case work support and referrals to other services such as health, housing, education, income support and employment
  • counselling with qualified staff -the counselling can be for you, your family or in a group session with other people. You can attend in person or online if you prefer.
  • drop-in centre (located in Richmond), peer and social support groups, events, educational and personal development activities and workshops 
  • financial assistance for health needs (e.g., dental expenses)
  • access to records
  • supporting people applying or thinking about applying for redress through the National Redress Scheme.

Care Leavers Australasia Network (CLAN)

CLAN is a national, independent, peak body that offers support to people who have grown up in orphanages, children’s homes, missions, foster care and other child welfare institutions in Australia and New Zealand.

Their services include, but are not limited to:

Free counselling

  • helping you access state ward files and records
  • helping you to locate lost family members and friends
  • social get-togethers
  • supporting you with Centrelink, housing, policy and courts.
  • assisting you apply for the National Redress Scheme.

Find and Connect

Find and Connect is an online resource for anyone interested in the history of child welfare in Australia.

You can use it to:

  • read information about and view images of children’s homes
  • get help to find records about your childhood in an institutional setting
  • connect with support groups and services in Victoria.

Other support services

There are several other organisations that provide support including:

How we will use and protect your information

In your communication with us, we do not expect you to share:

  • your experience in care
  • any personal, health or sensitive information
  • your qualifications and skills

We will securely store your personal, health and sensitive information. It is protected and managed under the Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014 and the Health Records Act 2001. Only authorised staff may access your information. For any complaints or feedback about the co-design and consultation, please contact us via VictorianGovernmentRedressScheme@dffh.vic.gov.au.