Hardship Payments And Apology For Care Leavers

The Allan Labor Government will make a historic formal apology in Parliament, as well as offering hardship payments, to Victorians who experienced historical abuse and neglect as children in institutional care before 1990.

Premier Jacinta Allan will make a formal apology at Parliament House at 10am on Wednesday, 29 November to Victorian care leavers who experienced abuse and neglect.

Applications for $10,000 hardship payments also open today for eligible care leavers in exceptional circumstances – like those who are terminally or critically ill, and who experienced physical, psychological and emotional abuse or neglect while placed in orphanages, children’s homes, missions and other out-of-home care.

To date, a total of $7.5 million has been invested in hardship payments and to design a redress scheme covering the period before 1990, when more than 90,000 children were placed in institutional care because of economic stress, social disadvantage, being orphaned, having a single parent or parental mental illness.

Many of these children grew up not knowing their family – and their grief and trauma continues today, with many experiencing poverty, homelessness and mental illness as a result of the abuse they experienced.

The new scheme builds on support available through the National Redress Scheme set up after the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

The Government will work with pre-1990 care leavers and key stakeholders to develop the scheme in a process that will begin shortly. Care leavers who receive a hardship payment will still be able to apply for the Care Leavers Redress Scheme once it opens.

The apology will be live-streamed on the Parliament of Victoria website new.parliament.vic.gov.au

Applications for hardship payments can be made by visiting services.dffh.vic.gov.au/victorian-historical-care-leaver-redress-hardship-payments

For further information please email VictorianGovernmentRedressScheme@dffh.vic.gov.au.

Pre-1990 care leavers who need support can contact Care Leavers Australasia Network or Open Place (Relationships Australia Victoria). Crisis help can be found through Lifeline on 13 11 14.

Quote attributable to Premier Jacinta Allan

“Nobody deserves the harrowing abuse that was the experience of too many Victorian children before 1990. We can’t take away their pain and trauma, but we will formally apologise to these people and provide hardship payments to support them where we can.”