Based on research of past Stolen Generations Scheme support services and the expertise of the Steering Committee in working with Stolen Generations the following is recommended.
The Steering Committee recommends that applicants to the Stolen Generations Reparations package are able to access free legal support, financial counselling, trauma informed counselling, disability advocacy, and support workers for those with a lived experience of disability to support them through the Reparations process. This also applies to those who are incarcerated or under guardianship.
To fulfill this recommendation, the following are to be considered:
- It is recommended that the applicant be provided support during the application process, including for certified copies of identification, the assessment period, the payment period and after receiving the Reparations package. It is recommended that rules of engagement are developed to ensure this occurs with the required support worker/s.
- That external agencies engaged to provide support to Stolen Generations Reparations applicants include those that currently provide services to Stolen Generations.
- That external agencies engaged to provide to support Stolen Generations Reparations applicants receive additional funding to meet the increased caseload.
- That additional uncapped funding is provided for disability support workers outside of an applicant’s National Disability Insurance Scheme benefit. This is to ensure that those with a lived experience of disability are supported to engage, participate, apply and receive continuity of care through the Stolen Generations Reparations process.
- That all disability advocacy services, Aboriginal Co-Operatives and service providers are educated and informed of the support services in place to support applicants to Stolen Generations Reparations.
- That any service options provided are not limited by regional options and support for applicants to travel to urban areas for support is provided.
- It is noted that legal advice should not be a requirement of the application process but rather offered to those who may need assistance for example with legal guardianship, developing a will, financial coercion, or recovering lost funeral funds. The Bringing Them Home Report also stated that any monetary reparations be accompanied by free legal advice for applicants.203 It is recommended that the Victorian Government promote and provide clear information about the service providing free legal advice that is made available for Stolen Generations Reparations applicants. This is to ensure that applicants are not coerced by legal agencies into applying for Reparations via a legal service who will then receive part of the financial reparations under a legal firm’s cost agreement. More information on what to avoid can be found through an .
Further information on the participant estimates and cost modelling for these components of support for applicants to Reparations will be provided in the Finity Consulting final report for the Steering Committee in late June 2021.
The Stolen Generations Reparations survey indicates the following statistics out of 63 participants who identified as Stolen Generations:
- 31 participants indicated they would be supported through a Reparations process with a Social and Emotional Wellbeing Counsellor.
- 24 participants indicated they would be supported through a Reparations process with a Bringing Them Home Worker
- 12 participants indicated they would be supported through a Reparations process with disability or NDIS support.
- 19 participants indicated they would be supported through a Reparations process with a legal agency (9), financial planning agency (7) or corrective services (3).
- 9 participants further detailed they would be supported through Ngarra Jarra Noun (1) or a similar targeted service (1), family support (2), support group lead by a counsellor (1), interstate assistance (1), Connecting Home (1), Reparations staff (1), or a support worker who could transcribe the information (1).
- 7 participants indicated they would not need support through a Reparations process.
The Steering Committee recommends that a high-quality referral process is developed to ensure that applicants are receiving wrap-around support during and after the Reparations process.
It is recommended that existing services that provide support to Victorian Stolen Generations be considered in all referrals to ensure that experienced trauma informed care can be provided. It is also recommended that a high-quality referral process be provided to any applicants who apply but are ineligible for Reparations. This is to ensure that the Reparations process maintains responsibility for the wellbeing of all applicants.
203 Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission, 1997, Bringing Them Home Report
Reviewed 02 March 2022