Berry Street has made the decision to cease operating Open Place after 30 June 2020. Open Place will continue to provide services as normal during the transition.
We are proud to have delivered Open Place for the last 9 years, providing connection, belonging and understanding for many who have been in institutional care prior to 1990. It has been a difficult decision, but we believe it is in the best interests of Forgotten Australians (also known as pre-1990 Care Leavers) and in line with Berry Street’s core focus on children and young people.
The needs of Forgotten Australians are changing and over the next decade their demand for age-related and health services will increase. Forgotten Australians deserve the highest -quality, most responsive services as their needs evolve and there are providers better positioned to meet these needs.
Berry Street is also committed to participating in the National Redress Scheme. We believe this is in the best interests of people who have been in care with Berry Street. It has become clear through our communications with the Australian Government that there have been concerns about a perceived or actual conflict of interest while we continue to operate Open Place.
The Victorian Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) will work with stakeholders to create a new service for Forgotten Australians (also known as pre-1990 Care Leavers) which will begin operating from 1 July 2020. This will include hearing from Forgotten Australians currently using Open Place services. You can find out more at the DHHS website or call 1800 319 520.
Berry Street will work closely with DHHS and the Commonwealth Department of Social Services, which fund the suite of Open Place services, to ensure continuity of service delivery during the transition.
If you want further information take a look at the Frequently Asked Questions.