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Home Diversity resources Diversity characteristics Characteristics p9

Characteristics p9

Care leavers

As described below, the term care leaver is used to describe people who spent time in out of home care as a child.  Some care leavers do not identify with, or use the terms listed below (e.g. care leaver or Forgotten Australian).  Some care leavers may identify themselves with terms such as ‘former ward of the state’, ‘state wards’, ‘wardies’ and ‘ex-residents’.  It’s important to ask people about their preferred terminology and be guided by the person about the language and terms they identify with and use.

Department of Health (DH) (2016) Booklet: Caring for Forgotten Australians, Former Child Migrants and Stolen Generations.  Available from:

The Alliance for Forgotten Australians have produced a number of useful resources including:

Helping Hand Aged Care (HHAC) – Real Care the Second Time Around.  Available from:

University of New South Wales (UNSW) The Forgotten Australians: Long-Term Outcomes of Forgotten Australians Study.  Further information, research reports and additional resources are available from:

More Than Our Childhoods is part of a research project focusing on Care Leaver activism and advocacy.  Their website include a number of life stories from care leavers.  Available from:

National Library of Australia (2012) You can’t forget things like that: Oral History Project.  Available from:

Rudd, K. (16 November 2009) Apology to the Forgotten Australians and former child migrants.  The address transcript is available from here.

Services and support available for care leavers

My Aged Care. Support for Care Leavers.  Available from:

The Alliance for Forgotten Australians (AFA) is a national advocacy and policy agency.  For more information, go to:

Care Leavers Australasia Network (CLAN) is a national, independent, peak membership body for people who were raised in Australian and New Zealand orphanages, children’s homes and foster care.  For more information, go to:

Find and Connect support services are available in each state and territory to provide specialist support to Forgotten Australians and Former Child Migrants.  Many of these services provide resource libraries with valuable information and links.  For more information, go to:

The Child Migrants Trust provides information and support to Former Child Migrants.  Further information is available from their website:

Link-Up organisations can be found throughout Australia and provide a range of services to members of Stolen Generations, their families, and foster and adoptive families  For more information, go to:

Delivering safe and inclusive services for care leavers

The Real Care The Second Time Around Forgotten Australians Project, has been developed with Forgotten Australians by Helping Hand Aged Care, in partnership with Relationships Australia South Australia and Flinders University. The project is working towards improving the access to quality aged care services for Forgotten Australians.  For more information, go to:

The project team have created a range of practical, easy to use resources including:

Alliance for Forgotten Australians (2016) Forgotten Australians: Supporting survivors of childhood institutional care in Australia.  Available from:

Cations, M., Browne-Yung, K., O’Neil, D., Smyth, A., Putsey, P., Walker, R., Corlis, M., Laver, K., Fernandez, E. & Crotty, M. (2020)  Safe and inclusive aged care for Forgotten Australians / Care Leavers: Recommendations for aged care providers. Adelaide: Flinders University.  Available from:

Department of Health and Aged Care (2016) Caring for Forgotten Australians, Former Child Migrants and Stolen Generations Information package.  This information package is designed for the aged care sector, particularly residential care providers. The resources show how early life experiences can affect older people receiving care and help care providers respond to their needs.  Available from:

Wattle Place (2019) Wattle Place – The secret everyone should know about.  This booklet includes useful information about Forgotten Australian’s experience, common challenges and practical strategies about how to effectively support Forgotten Australians.  Available from:

Australian Association of Gerontology (AAG) (2020) Appropriate Services for Care Leavers, experiencing or at risk of homelessness.  Available here.

Queensland Community Care Network (2014) Voices from the Armchair Adele Renwick for Forgotten Australians (short video).  Available from:

Wellness Diversity North and West (2019) Alliance for Forgotten Australians (series of short videos).  Available from: