Caroline Carroll OAM is Community Education Coordinator at Open Place, the Victorian service for Forgotten Australians. Caroline is a survivor of abuse in many institutional and foster care placements during her childhood. She was separated as an infant from her family (including her seven siblings). Caroline is the Chair of the national peak body, the Alliance for Forgotten Australians.
Unfinished business (Oral Paper Presentation)
Forgotten Australians, care leavers and other survivors of institutional out-of-home ‘care’ have been the subject of numerous studies, inquiries, apologies and government responses in Australia during the last decades. The most recent is the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.
This paper will ask: why do so many important recommendations remain unimplemented for those who experienced institutional care? What remains to be done to ensure that these survivor groups receive proper recognition for past wrong and the services to redress these wrongs? What are the unintended consequences of poor government responses for these groups?
Australia’s out-of-home care population is increasing; many in this population come from generations of families who have spent time in ‘care’. Outcomes for children in these circumstances are very poor. Like the Forgotten Australians, this population has also been subject to numerous reviews. There is compelling evidence to suggest that targeted early intervention and community building can make a difference. These initiatives will be examined through the eyes and experience of a Forgotten Australian. Is there the will to make a difference?