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Australia - Organisation

Find and Connect Support Service (2011 - )

From
2011
Alternative Names
  • Find & Connect Support Service (Also known as)

The Find and Connect Support Service is a national network of organisations providing support to Forgotten Australians and Former Child Migrants. It is funded by the Australian government through the Department of Social Services. There is a Find and Connect Support Service in every state and territory, providing counselling, records searching, assistance with family reunions and practical support.

Details

The establishment of the Find and Connect Support Service followed the Australian government's apology to Forgotten Australians and Former Child Migrants in November 2009.

In May 2010, the Rudd government announced funding to "help Forgotten Australians and former child migrants trace their personal and family histories and reunite with family members where possible through a records tracing and support service."

The announcement stated that the Find and Connect Service would provide:

  • a national website and single online access point to help care leavers find records held by past care provider organisations and government agencies, linked to state and territory indexes;
  • a national 1800 telephone number for care leavers to call if they want to speak to someone trained to help them locate their personal records;
  • a national network of specialised case managers to help care leavers locate and access personal records and, where possible, reunite with family members. Case managers will also connect care leavers with counsellors and other support services where required; and
  • new counselling support services, specifically for care leavers, from appropriately trained and skilled providers to provide support for care leavers as they trace their families.

The first tender process for the national Find and Connect Support Service was unsuccessful. Four service provider organisations applied to operate the national Find and Connect Support Service (applications closed 28 February 2011). No applicant was assessed by the panel as demonstrating the capacity to deliver all the elements of the national Find and Connect service.

The Department for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (or FaHCSIA, as it was then known) then commenced a consultation process with care leaver organisations, state and territory governments, records specialists and non-government service providers to develop a new service delivery model for the Find and Connect Support Service.

The national network of Find and Connect Support Services was launched in August 2012 in Melbourne. At the launch the Minister announced the organisations delivering the support services in every state and territory but Western Australia (in 2013, Lanterns House, run by Relationships Australia WA was announced as the support service in that state).

  • Victoria - Open Place
  • Queensland - Lotus Place
  • New South Wales and Australian Capital Territory - Wattle Place (Relationships Australia)
  • South Australia, Northern Territory and Tasmania - Relationships Australia

Funding was also given to the Child Migrants Trust to provide support services nationally.

Publications

Online Resources

Sources used to compile this entry: 'Find and connect service for Forgotten Australians: media release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP', in Former Ministers, Commonwealth of Australia, 11 May 2010, http://www.formerministers.dss.gov.au/14187/find-and-connect-service-for-forgotten-australians/; 'More support for Forgotten Australians and Former Child Migrants', in Former Ministers, Commonwealth of Australia, 17 August 2012, http://www.formerministers.dss.gov.au/13373/more-support-for-forgotten-australians-and-former-child-migrants/.

Prepared by: Cate O'Neill