The newly-established Forde Foundation would do much to help former residents of state and Church-run institutions who were abused, Brisbane Archbishop John Bathersby said last week.
   He said the foundation, established by the Queensland Government, would provide a practical mechanism to respond to the needs of former children who were victims of abuse while being cared for by these institutions.
   He said the Catholic Church in QUeensland provided support services to victims of abuse through its Towards Healing program, established nationally in 1997.
   Individual religious orders, such as the Mercy Sisters, who ran an orphanage near Rockhampton, had already provided counselling and monetary compensation to former residents.
   "Compensation is not necessarily a primary response which victims seek," Archbishop Bathersby said. "More important to those victims is the re-establishment of confidence, personal esteem, social relationships and emotional well-being.
   "I would imagine the foundation will not just consider financial needs, but also look to the psychological process provided by people who had suffered abuse."
   The archbishop said the leaders of religious institutions and the Catholic Bishops of Queensland would continue to provide financial support through the counseling and complaint process provided by Towards Healing.
   - Cath Leader


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