Cessation and transition of Berry Street’s Open Place services
When will Berry Street cease delivering Open Place Services?
Berry Street will cease delivering Open Place Services in June 2020 and is committed to delivering quality services through the transition period to new service arrangements from July 2020.
Why has Berry Street decided to cease delivering Open Place Services?
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.
We are proud of the Open Place services we have delivered over the last 9 years and this has been a difficult decision to make. We believe this decision is in the best interests of Forgotten Australians and in line with Berry Street’s core focus on children and young people.
Berry Street is also committed to participating in the National Redress Scheme. It has become clear in discussions with the Australian Government that there have been concerns about a perceived or actual conflict of interest arising from Berry Street joining the Scheme while we continue to operate Open Place. We believe it is in the interests of those who have been in care at Berry Street to join the Scheme.
Why does it matter that Berry Street is signing up to the National Redress Scheme? Berry Street has been providing this service for the last 9 years and there’s been no issues.
Berry Street is signing up to the National Redress Scheme so we can provide redress to people who experienced sexual abuse while in the care of Berry Street services in the past. We believe this is the right thing to do.
Given Open Place offers support to people to apply, or who are thinking of applying for, redress through the scheme, we want to ensure there is no concerns about there being a perceived or actual conflict of interest.
What does this mean for Forgotten Australians who currently use Open Place Services and their continuity of care?
Berry Street is committed to delivering quality services through Open Place through to June 2020.
We will work closely with the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services and Commonwealth Department of Social Services, which fund the suite of Open Place services, to ensure continuity of service delivery and support transition to new service arrangements from July 2020.
We will also actively support Forgotten Australians to participate in the co-design of the new service, to ensure it best meets its needs into the future.
What does this mean for Open Place staff?
Berry Street values the work Open Place staff do every day to support Forgotten Australians. We remain committed to the employees of Open Place and supporting them through this transition. This includes supporting our Open Place staff to transition to new employment – whether that is within Berry Street, with the new provider or in other future endeavours.
Berry Street actively support Open Place staff to participate in the co-design of the new service, to ensure it builds on learning from the last 9 years of service delivery. We will also work with Open Place staff to take opportunities to reflect upon and celebrate Open Place’s achievements over the past 9 years.
Open Place staff are encouraged to use Berry Street’s Employee Assistance Program for counselling support if they need further assistance.
Where can I get further information about continuity and availability of Open Place services to June 2020?
You can get further information about continuity and availability of Open Place services by contacting Open Place on free call 1800 779 379.
Who do I contact if I’m concerned about what this decision means for me or wish to provide feedback?
If you are concerned about what this decision means for you or want to provide feedback, please contact Berry Street by using our contact form or calling us on (03) 9429 9266. We will take your details and the nature of your concern and someone will get back to you.
The future of services for Forgotten Australians (also known as pre-1990 care leavers)
Will services and funding continue beyond June 2020? Is funding for the service guaranteed?
The Victorian Department of Health and Human Services has indicated its commitment to ongoing support to Forgotten Australians to address the impact of past practice.
With Berry Street deciding to cease delivering Open Place Services, the department will take the opportunity to work with Forgotten Australians and key stakeholders to ensure service arrangements beyond June 2020 will best meet the needs of Forgotten Australians into the future.
Will I still have access to the same services in the future that I can access now?
The Victorian Department of Health and Human Services has committed to working with Forgotten Australians and key stakeholders to co-design a service that best meets the needs of Forgotten Australians into the future.
In ensuring the service best meets the changing needs of Forgotten Australians, there may be some changes to services from July 2020. Any changes will be informed by the consultations.
What will services for Forgotten Australian’s look like from July 2020 and how can I contribute to their design?
The Victorian Department of Health and Human Services has indicated it wants to hear from Forgotten Australians and key stakeholders, including current Open Place staff, about what future services for Forgotten Australians should look like.
You can find out more about how you can contribute and share your views about the design of services for Forgotten Australians to be available from July 2020 on the DHHS website.
Who will provide services to Forgotten Australians after Berry Street stops providing this service in June 2020?
The Victorian Department of Health and Human Services will start a process in early 2020 to identify a new provider of services to Forgotten Australians. This process will follow consultation with Forgotten Australians and key stakeholders on the broad look of services needed to best meet the needs of Forgotten Australians into the future.
Where can I get further information about the future of services for Forgotten Australians? Who do I contact if I have concerns about the future of services for Forgotten Australians?
You can get further information about the future of services for Forgotten Australians and find details of who to contact at the Department with any concerns on the DHHS website or call 1800 319 520.
What will happen to the Records, Find and Connect service?
The Records, Find and Connect service and Redress Support Services are funded by the Commonwealth Department of Social Services.
The current Find and Connect Service is funded up until the end of June 2020. The Commonwealth will enter a tender process to allocate a new service provider in Victoria post June 2020.
Berry Street will continue deliver Commonwealth Redress support services until the end of June 2020.
The Commonwealth government is working closely with the Victorian Government to ensure the current Open Place services are retained in Victoria and the services can reach potential new service users.
What will happen to the RESTORE Counselling Service?
The RESTORE Counselling service has been delivered as part of a consortium, which has included Berry Street’s Open Place as a service delivery partner. The service will continue to be delivered through the consortium through until the end of the current contract in June 2020.