Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

I spent most of my life in Victorian Children’s Homes , but I left Victoria and now live in Western Australia. Am I entitled to any services from Open Place?

Yes, you are entitled to all the services that we provide. These services include your access to counselling, access for immediate family members to counselling support for up to 12 months and support to access your records and assistance with travel for family reunions within Australia. A member of the Co-ordinated Support team from Open Place is available to help you prioritise your needs and assist you with your requests. You are also entitled to receive Find and Connect services from your local state provider by calling 1800 16 11 09.

I was raised in a NSW orphanage and have lived in Victoria since 1972. Am I entitled to services from Open Place?

Under the new Find and Connect funding you are entitled to access all the Open Place services, with the exception of assistance for family reunions. This is outside the Find and Connect guidelines.

Why does Open Place need to have written confirmation of my time “in care”?

Access to Open Place programs requires confirmation of time “in care” because we need to be sure that the services that we offer are being delivered to the people who fought so long to get them, that is, Victorian Forgotten Australians. Staff at Open Place understand that searching for personal records can be stressful for many people. We also understand that for some people there is very little evidence of time spent “in care”. Staff at Open Place are always prepared to be creative and resourceful to obtain confirmation in the simplest, least stressful manner. We always encourage Forgotten Australians to use the support of a counsellor or other support person when accessing records for the first time.

How can I have a say in how Open Place does its work?

Open Place welcomes your comments, compliments and complaints. You can send us an email through info@openplace.org.au, send us a message by mail, give us a call on 1800 779 379, drop in to see us for a chat or simply leave a message in our Suggestion Box at the front desk. Open Place has a Service Charter and by downloading this document you can read about how you can provide feedback. Please feel encouraged to talk to us if you have a concern as we want to ensure that we are offering Forgotten Australians the services that they need and deserve in the most appropriate way.

How can Open Place help me with a housing difficulty?

After 3 years of providing personal support to Forgotten Australians we are very aware that access to safe and affordable housing is an issue for many Forgotten Australians. Open Place support workers will work hard to link Forgotten Australians to specialist Housing services in their local area and we are developing more knowledge every day about where those local services are across Australia and what expert advice and support they can offer. Where a letter of support will assist an application for housing/accommodation, support workers will provide letters of support and encourage other professionals who know the particular service user to write support letters such as medical professionals or disability workers. With the permission of the service user Open Place support workers will advocate and explain to other professionals what the particular needs and issues are for Forgotten Australians who are seeking safe and affordable housing. Open Place support workers have no special authority to access safe and affordable accommodation for individuals but they are there to help Forgotten Australians negotiate a range of service systems, including the Housing service system, which are often complex and unwieldy. We take every opportunity to inform both State and Federal Governments about the house needs of Forgotten Australians.

How can I access Support funding?

Please see ‘Guidelines for Open Place Support Funding’. The guidelines are based on the belief that the distribution of limited resources must provide a balance of equitable services (available to all) and targetted services (provided to those most in need)