Helping Hand recognises the critical importance of understanding that every person’s life journey is unique and will impact on their needs and expectations as they age.

A group known as Forgotten Australians has been identified as having many challenges as they face the possibility of aged care. Forgotten Australians represent the 500,000 children that were placed into institutional and out-of-home care in Australia in the last century. Of this group, 7,000 were former child migrants, 50,000 were indigenous children from the Stolen Generations and over 440,000 were non-indigenous children. Many of these children experienced significant physical and emotional trauma as a result of being placed in institutional care as children and now, as an older group, are experiencing barriers to accessing aged care as a result. We respect that not everyone will identify with the terminology ‘Forgotten Australians’.

The Real Care The Second Time Around Forgotten Australians Project, funded by the Commonwealth Government, commenced in 2019. This important project has been developed with Forgotten Australians by Helping Hand, in partnership with Relationships Australia South Australia and Flinders University. The project is working towards improving the access to quality aged care services for Forgotten Australians.

Online Learning

Working with aged care clients who experienced childhood trauma in ‘care’

An e-learning program has been developed by The Australian Institute of Social Relations and Relationships Australia South Australia (Elm Place) in collaboration with Helping Hand’s Real Care the Second Time Around project team and co-design forum.

The course is an introduction to understanding the impacts of childhood trauma for people now entering aged care. It focuses on the experiences of Forgotten Australians, Stolen Generations, Former Child Migrants and people affected by forced adoption. Click here to access the online learning resources.

All people have a fundamental right to be heard and provided care according to their individual needs. Standard 1 of the Aged Care Quality Standards requires providers to treat all aged care recipients with dignity and respect, and value their identity, culture and diversity. Aged care providers must meet the needs of the people they provide care for on an individual basis. This e-learning supports the aged care workforce to understand the needs of older people from a background of trauma.


Hard copy versions of these resources can be obtained by contacting Helping Hand by email or phone 1300 653 600, and they can be downloaded by clicking on the images or links below:

A brochure with ten questions that Forgotten Australians can ask when looking for residential aged care accommodation.

A publication to assist aged care providers with practical tips, information and resources when working with people who identify as Forgotten Australians / Care Leavers.

A publication to assist aged care providers to support their clients to develop one-page summaries that captured their individual stories, and that would follow them through the aged care pathway.

Real Care the Second Time Around, Helping Hand’s position statement about Forgotten Australians.

Project priorities

Priorities of the Real Care the Second Time Around Project were informed by our Co-design Forum of between 16-20 people who identify as either Forgotten Australians and/or Care Leavers. Priority areas for the project include:


The following workshops were facilitated for our Co-design Forum during the RCSTA Project to ensure their understanding and access to aged care services:

  • Advance Care Planning in partnership with University of SA, three workshops resulting in Forgotten Australians completing an advance care directive
  • Enduring Power of Attorney in partnership with Adelaide Law School, the workshop supported Forgotten Australians to understand both Power and Enduring Power of Attorney
  • About Me One Page Profile facilitated by Susan Michael and the RCSTA Project Team, this fun and interactive workshop supported Forgotten Australians to develop a one page summary of what is important for their care and support
  • On-site Residential Aged Care Tour a visit to Helping Hand’s Ingle Farm residential site for Forgotten Australians
  • Lived Experienced Training five workshops to support Forgotten Australians develop skills and confidence in personal story telling and public speaking. The training was aimed to support Forgotten Australians to be able to share their Lived Experience stories with the community – raising awareness of the history and experiences of Forgotten Australians
  • Aged Care and Disability Workshop a panel of seven aged care experts shared their knowledge and resources to support access to care
  • Q&A Workshop an opportunity for Forgotten Australians to ask a panel of aged care providers questions about accessing aged care services

Raising Awareness

Many presentations and webinars were delivered to organisations and groups during the course of the project. These included:

  • Northern Adelaide Local Health Network – Modbury and Lyell McEwin Hospitals
  • Adelaide University Nursing Students
  • Primary Health Networks
  • Regional Aged Care Assessment Teams
  • Aged Care Assessment Teams
  • Aged Care Services Australia (ACSA – Being Curious webinar)
  • Older Person Advocacy Network (OPAN – webinar)
  • Australian Association of Gerontology (webinar)
  • Older Persons Mental Health
  • Aged Care Providers
  • Department of Health