You are here : Home / Need Help? / Social Support Groups
page image

Social Support Groups - Open Place


There are currently 14 Social Support Groups (SSG’s) that meet monthly throughout Victoria. These groups provide an opportunity for Forgotten Australians to come together with others who have a shared experience of a childhood in institutional care. Open Place aims for the groups to be a safe and stress-free place where friendships are formed and those involved come along to experience enjoyable and fun times together. The groups hope to create positive relationships and a feeling of connection to others which can assist in reducing feelings of loneliness and isolation.

Open Place staff assist with the organising of all the SSG’s and one or two staff attend most groups. The groups participate in a range of activities, some of these include lunch in a hall or local venue, a BBQ or a visit to a place of interest. Each group, with the support of the group facilitators, decides on what it wants to do, depending on budget and what activities work best for them.

Whilst the purpose of the SSG’s is to provide a place for Forgotten Australians to meet and get to know each other many of those attending will find it easier to come with a companion. This can be either a partner, friend or carer who is over 18 years old. It is also important to know that whilst Open Place supports the strengthening of family ties the SSG’s have been developed for adults and are therefore not suitable for children.

The SSG’s have proven to be a wonderful addition to the services provided by Open Place. Hundreds of Forgotten Australians have already attended and have told us they enjoy coming along and many have found lasting friendships and support outside of the group.

To find out more about the Social Support Group in your area see the Newsletter or contact us at Open Place.