We’re pleased to announce that Relationships Australia Victoria (RAV) has been selected by the Victorian Government Department of Health and Human Services as the new provider of Open Place.
Open Place is a specialised, state-wide support and advocacy service that co-ordinates and provides direct assistance to support the needs of people who grew up in Victorian orphanages and homes during the last century, also known as pre-1990 Care Leavers, or Forgotten Australians.
In 2010, Berry Street was the agency appointed to work with Forgotten Australians and establish and operate Open Place. RAV supported Berry Street’s tender application to provide services to help people who identify as Forgotten Australians to deal with the legacy of their childhood experiences and provide support to improve their health and wellbeing. RAV has provided counselling to Forgotten Australians since this time through some of our centres.
Open Place provides personal support and counselling, and access to specialist services including records and family searching, Redress support, community education, coordinated support and 13 social support groups across Victoria that are specifically targeted to responding to and supporting the needs of Forgotten Australians.
It also operates a drop-in centre in Richmond, which provides a space for Forgotten Australians to come and meet, chat over a meal, access computers and printers, shower, engage in activities and enjoy a weekly community lunch.
Having initially partnered with Berry Street Victoria in the delivery of Open Place in 2010, and as a current provider of Redress Support Services and other specialised programs, RAV is well-placed to provide the service and ensure that Pre-1990 Care Leavers experience a smooth and safe transition of services in the coming months.
RAV will commence as the provider of Open Place on 1 July 2020, with planning underway to ensure a smooth transition for the service’s valued staff and clients.
Open Place will continue to provide services as normal during the transition, noting that ‘normal’ is currently impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and related restrictions. Please refer to the Open Place website for more information on services during COVID-19.
Pre-1990 Care Leavers can contact Open Place on 1800 779 379 (free call) for support or information about their current services.