Frequently Asked Questions About the Long-term Outcomes of Forgotten Australians (LOFA) study

What is the research for?

This research sought to understand Forgotten Australians’ or care leavers’ experience in care, after care, and what it is like for them now. Those who have lived in child welfare institutions or other types of care are known to have experienced significant disadvantage as a result of widespread practices within care systems that were psychologically, sexually and physically abusive and neglectful. As well as understanding the consequences of negative experiences individuals had in care, this study attempted to find out if individuals had any nurturing or positive experiences of care. This research contributes to the growing body of knowledge on the impacts of care on the life course, and will assist in identifying supports and services that would be useful for care leavers and their families generally and at particular times when they encounter difficulties.

Is my anonymity and confidentiality protected?

The surveys were undertaken anonymously online and where individuals completed paper based surveys they were returned directly to the University in a reply paid envelope. Information from surveys, interviews and focus groups could be accessed by the UNSW research team alone. In strict accordance with the consent given by people who participated in the study, the only people who have access to the data (from surveys, interviews and focus groups) ate the UNSW staff. The personal information obtained in the course of the study has been handled by UNSW in full compliance with privacy law, UNSW policies, and the conditions of the Ethics committee approval for the study (Ethics Approval number HC14015).

How does this study relate to the Royal Commission into Institutional Child Sexual Abuse?

The two processes are separate. This is a University-led research project. The other is a government-initiated public inquiry. Some have participated in both.

Who was involved in conducting the study?

The research was conducted as a national  independent study by the University of New South Wales. The research team is headed by Professor Elizabeth Fernandez, with over 20 year experience in research on children in care and vulnerable families, and includes: Dr. Jung-Sook Lee who has expertise in research methodology and researches the wellbeing of children and families from disadvantaged backgrounds; Dr Hazel Blunden, an experienced housing and homelessness researcher; Dr Patricia McNamara; Szilvia Kovacs, a social worker, researcher and PhD candidate; and Paul-Auguste Cornefert, also a social worker, researcher and PhD candidate.

Where can I find out more?

If you would like more information or would like to clarify aspects of the research contact us at email: lofa@unsw.edu.au or telephone: 02 9385 1516. Further details of this research is available at www.forgottenaustralians.unsw.edu.au