From 1 July 2020 a new provider will operate Open Place, the specialised state-wide support service for people who were in institutional care as children before 1990.
People who were in care as children before 1990 are sometimes know or described as Forgotten Australians, Care Leavers or Pre-1990 Care Leavers.
Announcement and next steps
After an open and competitive tender process the Department of Health and Human Services is pleased to announce Relationships Australia Victoria as the new provider of Open Place, commencing 1 July 2020.
Relationships Australia Victoria is well placed to take on this new service, having experience working with Pre-1990 Care Leavers and an initial partner with Berry Street Victoria in the delivery of Open Place. Relationships Australia currently provides services to Pre-1990 Care Leavers in other states and territories. Information about Relationships Australia Victoria is on their website.
The department would like to once again thank the commitment and dedication of Open Place and Berry Street Victoria staff who have worked diligently with Pre-1990 Care Leavers and contributed to alleviating the life-long impact of institutional care. The valued services and expert knowledge provided by Open Place and Berry Street Victoria over the past 10 years will provide the foundation for a strong future service.
We would also like to thank those Pre-1990 Care Leavers and stakeholders who generously contributed their views, personal journeys and reflections in the consultations undertaken in late 2019 which informed the tender process. We look forward to these conversations continuing and further informing and shaping the Open Place service with Relationships Australia Victoria.
Work will now commence with Relationships Australia Victoria, Open Place staff, Berry Street Victoria and the Department of Social Services, who also fund Open Place, to help Pre-1990 Care Leavers to experience a smooth and safe transition of services in the coming months.
In October 2019, Berry Street Victoria announced their decision to cease operating the Open Place service. Following the announcement, the Department of Health and Human Services consulted with Pre-1990 Care Leavers and key stakeholders to hear their views about what they valued most about the current service provided by Open Place and if anything could improve. Their views have informed the open and competitive tender process which commenced in 2020.
The department commenced a tender process in mid-January 2020 to identify the new provider of Open Place.