The Link up Program is responsible for providing services to Aboriginal people affected by past government policies relating to the removal of children.
As healing is complex and for some individuals healing can be a lifelong process. Yorgum’s Link-Up Program provides specialised holistic supports by people who understand the particular issues and unique needs of members of the Stolen Generations. We draw together the knowledge of practitioners, workers and researchers to provide social and emotional wellbeing counselling.
Yorgum’s Link Up program consists of numerous caseworkers that engage and coordinate family research, client reunification, back to community and overall Link-Up activities. Link Up works closely with the SEWB counseling services and other relevant organisations to assist clients to reunite with their families, culture and community and restore their social and emotional wellbeing wherever possible.
The Link up Program is more formally known as the Access to Effective Family Tracing and Reunion Services Program. It provides funding to organisations, not individuals, for the purpose of family tracing and reunion services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who have been separated from their families as a result of the past removal policies and practices of Australian governments.
What can Link-Up Services do?
There are a number of core activities required from the Link-Up Services under the Link-Up Program, including:
- Client contact, intake, assessment, referral, support and guidance;
- Support and Guidance – Initial Family Contact;
- Developing case management plans to coordinate holistic support for individual clients
- Counselling, support and advocacy;
- Researching family history information and other relevant information;
- Secondary Link-Up Service negotiation and liaison;
- Reunion management;
- Phase 1. Pre-reunion (preparation);
- Phase 2. Reunion; and
- Phase 3. Post Reunion
- Post Reunion Support;
- Cultural and Family Value Awareness;
- Public Awareness (i.e. promoting the Link-Up Services);
- Staff Training and Development;
- Representation on Government and Community Forums; and
- Administrative Management, including the development of Memorandums of Understanding.
The following activities are ineligible under this program:
- Native title, land rights, compensation or reparation claims;
- Return to Country reunions;
- Erecting of monuments;
- More than one reunion per individual;
- Funeral attendance (including funding for transport and other related costs);
- Genealogy assistance; and
- Locating missing persons.
Who can access the Link-Up Service?
The Link-Up Services assist people affected by past removal policies and practices and their families; and individuals and families who have been adopted, fostered or raised in institutions.
Funding need not be strictly confined to support only those who can demonstrate that they have lost contact with their families and communities as a direct result of the past removal policies and practices of Australian governments.
Link-Up Services can provide assistance to clients identifying as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander or who believe they have Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander heritage. However, if records or research indicates Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander heritage has not been documented, Link-Up Services will be unable to assist further.
An appropriate referral agency will be recommended in this instance e.g.: Salvation Army - Family Tracing Unit, Jigsaw (SA) and Post Adoptive Resource Centre. The person is able to return to the Link up Service to become a client if they find documentary evidence of their Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander heritage.
An individual, who may or may not have already confirmed their Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritage, may be trying to establish and document their family history – this is a genealogy or family tree exercise – not family tracing, and accordingly cannot be undertaken by a Link Up Service. Referral should be made to State Museums, State Libraries or Genealogical Societies.
Regional Service Delivery Boundaries
Where is Link-Up available?
The Southern Link-Up provider includes the following regions;
- Great Southern
- South West