Barwon Child, Youth & Family was launched as a new entity on 1 July 2015 as a result of a merger between Glastonbury Community Services, Barwon Youth and Time for Youth. The history of the three merged agencies is outlined below. You can also read more about our history and foundations in our book ‘Stronger Together: A History of Barwon Child, Youth & Family 1855-2018.’
Apology to Past Care Leavers
Original Apology 2008, Revised in 2018
On 1 July 2015, Barwon Child, Youth & Family was formed through the merger of Glastonbury Community Services, Barwon Youth and Time for Youth. These organisations provided various forms of alternative care for children and young people who could not or would not, live within their family. Whilst recognising the significant histories and contribution these former agencies have made to the regions social history, Barwon Child, Youth & Family appreciates that lessons from our past, shape and influences our future.
We support the findings of the Australian Senate Report 2004 and the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse (2013). We rise to their challenges to admit past wrongs, to provide supportive, appropriate responses to those who were harmed and to ensure that such wrong doings are never hidden or repeated.
Barwon Child, Youth & Family is committed to providing the best care and support services possible and we recognise and honour the efforts of the majority of our staff, carers and volunteers of the former institutions who strived to do their best for children and young people living in alternative care. Many former clients report positive experiences, nonetheless, we acknowledge and deeply regret that the experience of some children and young people living in our care caused them hurt and anguish, which has continued to impact on their lives as adults.
We express our heartfelt regret and contrition about the experience of children and young people in the care of any of our founding organisations, who may have endured pain and trauma at being separated from their parents and siblings or who suffered abuse and neglect from people entrusted to care for them. Barwon Child, Youth & Family recognises that for those people who have grown up apart from their families, they may continue to be impacted through a loss of their sense of identity and belonging and endure ongoing painful residual effects. In respect of those people who suffered from abuse or neglect, we understand the impact these experiences have had on their ability to live meaningful, fulfilling lives and we apologise unreservedly.
Barwon Child, Youth & Family acknowledges the bravery and courage of former residents telling their story and bringing these issues to light. We are committed to assisting them to address the pain of their past experiences in the hope that they can reach a satisfactory level of healing and recovery.
National Redress Scheme
In July 2018 the Commonwealth government introduced the National Redress Scheme in response to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. The purpose of the scheme is to provide support to people who experienced institutional child sexual abuse including access to counselling, a Redress payment; and a direct personal response from the institution (e.g. an apology).
For a list of Victorian Redress support services, please click here.
In March 2019, the BCYF Board agreed ‘in principle’ to join the National Redress Scheme, subject to clarification on a number of issues by the Department of Social Services, the operators of the scheme. Read the full announcement here.
Should you wish to contact BCYF to share your experience of being in care with us or one of our founding bodies then please contact 5226 8900 and ask to speak to the Complaints Officer or alternatively contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Should you wish to speak with an external organisation about your past experience of being in care with us or one of our founding bodies then please contact:
- Open Place 1800 779 379 (freecall) or via email email@example.com
Open Place is a support and advocacy service that co-ordinates and provides direct assistance to address the needs of people who grew up in Victorian orphanages and homes during the last century.
- CLAN 1800 008 774 (freecall) or 0425 204 747 or via email firstname.lastname@example.org
Care Leavers Australasia Network (CLAN) is a national, independent, peak membership body which represents, supports and advocates for people who were raised in Australian and New Zealand Orphanages, Children's Homes & Foster Care.
To access your information click here.