The Forde Inquiry
In June 1999, the report of the Commission of Inquiry into Abuse of Children in Queensland Institutions was tabled in the Queensland Parliament. The Forde Inquiry, as it was known, found significant evidence of abuse and neglect of children in Queensland institutions in the past and identified ongoing concerns about current practices in relation to child protection and youth detention.
The Inquiry encompassed the period from 1911 to 1999 and examined more than 150 orphanages and detention centres. Over 300 people provided information to the Commission.
Although there were many reasons presented to the Commission as to how and why the abuses took place, none excuse the abuse, nor do they excuse the failure of those in authority in government, churches and society in general to effectively monitor children in care.
Those people who provided information to the Commission showed great courage in disclosing details of their childhood experiences. These experiences, which included emotional, physical, sexual and systems abuse, as well as the pain of separation from parents and siblings, have deeply scarred many of them and had immeasurable impacts on the rest of their lives.
The Commission heard stories of children feeling worthless, vulnerable, stigmatised, unloved, and being denied opportunities. As adults, a significant number of former children in care report poor personal relationships, low self-esteem, broken marriages, poverty, suicide attempts, uncertainty, insecurity and limited employment opportunities.
The Report contained 42 recommendations requiring significant changes in legislation, policy and practice for children currently in care or detention. Recommendation 39 of the Report resulted in the establishment of The Forde Foundation.
You can read the full report here
Hard copies of the report can be viewed at your local and state government libraries
You can read the Queensland Government's response to the Forde Inquiry report here
You can read the progress the Queensland Government made in responding to the Forde Inquiry's recommendations here