Care Leavers in Aged Care: Save the Date

ACC explores sensitive and appropriate care in updated program Care Leavers in Aged Care, released 13th February 2018. 

Care Leavers in Aged Care: Save the Date

ACC is proud to present the updated program Care Leavers in Aged Care, produced in collaboration with the Department of Health. Anyone can register to view this program, which will be available on demand from 13th February, 2018.

Forgotten Australians, Former Child Migrants and Stolen Generations are collectively known as Care Leavers. Entering residential aged care can present unique challenges for people who have experienced institutionalised care as children. 

Providing sensitive and appropriate care is a crucial part of the person-centred approach, according to ACC Learning & Development Manager, Nicola Burton. “The goal of this program is to recognise the issues facing older Australians who were raised in institutionalised care, and identify strategies to address their needs”, says Nicola, adding “the recently concluded Royal Commission has shown that the incidence of child abuse within institutionalised care has a huge impact on people’s lives and our society in general.” 

One interviewee in the program, Ronald Arthur, gave testimony at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, regarding his sexual assault at the hands of his boys home teacher. “I told the superintendent at the home, but I heard no more about it of course”, says Ronald in the program. 

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse had its final sitting on 14th December 2017. In his opening address for the final sitting, Commission Chair, the Hon. Justice Peter McClellan AM said “For victims and survivors, telling their stories has required great courage and determination. Most are stories of personal trauma and many are of personal tragedy. It is impossible not to share the anger many survivors have felt when they tell us of their betrayal by people they believed they were entitled to trust….. For many, sexual abuse is a trauma they can never escape. It can affect every aspect of their lives.” 

The the Hon. Justice Peter McClellan AM went on to say, “The conjunction of events which the Royal Commission has examined can only be described as a national tragedy. Across many decades many institutions failed our children. Our child protection, criminal and civil justice systems let them down.” 

Many Care Leavers have already entered aged care and many more will require care home services in the future. The ACC program Care Leavers in Aged Care aims to provide some insight into how to care for Care Leavers within aged care. 

A key contributor to the making of this program is subject matter expert Leonie Sheedy, who is the Executive Officer of Care Leavers Australasia Network (CLAN) and a Care Leaver herself. Care Leavers Australasia Network (CLAN) is a “national, independent, peak membership body which represents, supports and advocates for people who were raised in institutionalised care.”(source:

Leonie has a unique understanding of the challenges faced by Care Leavers, “Our needs were invisible as children” Leonie says in the program, adding “Care Leavers have huge issues with trust. They don’t trust the churches, they definitely don’t trust the charities and definitely don’t trust state governments and people in authority like the police.” It is this lack of trust that can create confronting barriers for Care Leavers entering aged care. 


To find out more about caring for Care Leavers, please join ACC on 13th February 2018 to view the program Care Leavers in Aged Care.

Care Leavers in Aged Care