RCT Law can assist you with claims involving wards of the State, and has done so for many years. We can also help with claims involving “private placements”, where children were privately placed into institutional or other out of home “care”, often by their parents or relatives, in foster care and other out of home care.
Historically, children became wards of the State and were sent into government care because they were deemed by the Children's Court to be in need of care and protection. The State became their legal guardians. There were various reasons for making children wards of the State, including that they were judged to be “neglected”, “uncontrollable”, “likely to lapse into a life of vice and crime” or “in moral danger”.
More than 500,000 children were placed in out of home care up until the end of 1989. Many suffered abuse and neglect from the very people who were meant to be responsible for their care and protection. Some were sent to government-run institutions, and some to homes run by religious and other organisations; placements that the State was meant to oversee. Many are “Forgotten Australians”.
On November 16th 2009, the Australian Government delivered a National Apology to the Forgotten Australians and Former Child Migrants. While we recognise the importance of this apology, compensation is also required as tangible recognition of the wrongs done to survivors.
There are various options that are available to resolve claims involving wardship and private placement abuse, such as taking your matter to court and settling your matter out of court.
RCT Law was the first law firm to devise and negotiate a protocol with the Victorian Government to settle compensation claims for State wards outside the court system. This protocol can help abuse survivors secure monetary payments and statements of apology from the State. The protocol is sometimes used an alternative to taking action in court in recognition of the pressures going to court can place on survivors.
The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse held a public hearing or case study into the experiences of former child residents at Turana Youth Training Centre, Winlaton Youth Training Centre and Baltara Reception Centre between the 1960s and early 1990s (case study 30).
Read more about the Royal Commission's findings from Case Study 30.
RCT Law can assist survivors with claims involving foster and other “out of home care” (which includes foster care, relative or kinship care, family group homes, residential care/‘resi-care' and independent living arrangements), and has done so for many years.
About 20,000 Australian children currently live in foster care, mostly in group residential care or with foster families. While this modern-day form of care is different to the large institutional facilities of the past, children are still at risk of abuse from carers and other children where there is poor supervision.
RCT Law's work for survivors commenced largely with historical claims of child abuse, but unfortunately, as children continue to suffer abuse in care, RCT Law is also pursuing compensation claims for more recent experiences of abuse.
It is possible to take claims involving abuse in foster care and other out of home care to court or to resolve them. through other avenues.
The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse conducted an inquiry into preventing sexual abuse of children in “out of home care”.
The Final Report of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse included an entire volume relating to contemporary out of home care.