Welcome to Esther

Statement from the Esther Foundation April, 20th 2022

 

The Esther Foundation has today entered voluntary administration.

 

There has been significant reputational damage to the Foundation, such that our funding base has reduced to the extent that we are likely become insolvent in the very near future, and accordingly under law we cannot continue to operate in this event. Under the Association Incorporation Act 2015 (WA) the Board has the authority to appoint a voluntary administrator in the likely event of insolvency in the very near future. The predicted outcome of this administration process will be the closure and winding up of the Foundation. 

 

Throughout this process, we are continuing to seek an appropriate professional organisation to ensure the continuity of care and alternative program support for the women and children that currently remain in our care, and to work to ensure ongoing employment for our staff. 

 

Our interim CEO is working closely with the Administrator to achieve the best outcome possible for these women and our staff.

 

Thank you to those that have worked tirelessly for the cause of young women in need and have supported us in various ways over the years and thank you to those that have reached out to us with support throughout this exceedingly difficult situation. 

 

The Voluntary Administrator is Mervyn Kitay of Worrells Accoutants, and further information is available on the Worrells website at

https://worrells.net.au/press-release-esther-foundation-incorporated-enters-voluntary-administration

 

 

Counselling Support Service

 

Further to our earlier commitment to support former residents of the Esther Foundation, we would like to offer counselling support to any former resident who would like to access this.

The counselling services is provided by Life Supports, an independent, secular counselling service with therapists across Australia. The service is free to former residents, totally confidential, and no details will be provided to Esther Foundation.

The process is as follows

  1. Call the intake line on 1300 735 030 (open 6am-6pm weekdays and 7am-3.30pm weekends WA time). If you do not get through, please leave a voicemail so that we can call you back soon after.
  2. Quote that you are a “former resident of the Esther Foundation programs” and that Esther Foundation has agreed to fund appointments for you via an arrangement made with Life Supports. This ensures that the intake consultant who answers can look up our arrangement in our system. 
  3. Our intake consultant will ask for your postcode and the type of counselling you’re looking for (or reason you’re seeking counselling), so that we can best match you with a suitable therapist. Many of our therapists are also available for phone or video appointments, if you prefer this over face to face appointments.
  4. We will book you in for the initial appointment and send you an email confirmation with the appointment details. Subsequent appointments can be organised directly with your therapist.  

 

Up to three sessions are available initially, and more can be negotiated with your therapist.

We urge former residents to access this support.

 

The Esther Foundation

 

Statement from the Board of Esther Foundation – April 7, 2022

 

The Esther Foundation acknowledges the announcement today by the State Government, of the proposed review of the Esther Foundation’s response to complaints made by past participants and former staff. The review is part of a broader inquiry into the suitability of existing regulatory and legislative frameworks for residential rehabilitation facilities in the State.

The Esther Foundation Board welcomes this review and has offered Ms McGurk and the Committee its full support in the inquiry. These allegations and claims have shocked and devastated us. We are committed to do whatever we can to assist fully with the process of investigation, healing, restoration and justice. 

We are committed to providing support to past participants of the Esther Foundation’s programs. Professional, independent counselling services are being made available to former participants and we will advise as soon as this has been streamlined.

 

Over the past two years, following an overhaul of the Foundation’s management, The Esther Foundation has gone through major changes, including a complete change of leadership. The Board and Executive team have worked tirelessly to professionalise the Foundation’s operations, staffing, policies and procedures at every level.

 

This recent news and the ongoing publicity is deeply distressing to all who are involved in the ​Foundation – including our participants, and we must continue to prioritise their ongoing safety, care and wellbeing. Any decisions will be made with the interests of these women at the forefront.

 

We reaffirm our support and commitment to assist all who have suffered under past leadership at Esther Foundation, and to fully cooperate with this inquiry.
 

 

Statement from the Board of the Esther Foundation - March 10, 2022

 

Over the past few weeks the Board of the Esther Foundation have heard accounts in the media from several women who have been through our rehabilitation program. Hearing these personal stories and allegations has been extremely distressing and confronting to us, as the conduct they describe does not reflect our vision or purpose. We sincerely and without reservation apologise to these women and any others who have been hurt or have experienced abuse in any form. The safety and well-being of our participants is and will be our number one priority in the provision of our program and the handling of any complaint.

 

Our Foundation today is a very different organisation to what it was at the time of the events described by these accounts. Over two years ago, the Esther Foundation underwent a complete overhaul. We parted company with the founder and former MD, reorganised our programs and implemented strict quality, safety and best practice procedures. As part of the restructure we have appointed new board members and engaged a new executive team and qualified personnel to deliver the best care to program participants.

  

While the Esther Foundation of today has evolved, we are determined to deal with the past. We stand in support of any former resident who has suffered hurt, abuse or anguish. We are taking decisive steps to learn more about what happened in the years under the former leadership, bring resolution to anyone affected where this is possible, and to ensure the safety and well-being of all of our current and future participants. To this end we support the call of Minister McGurk for any former resident with grievances to contact her. We also urge anyone who has any allegations of possible criminal behaviour to report this to the police. We will work with the minister’s office and any other investigation in an open and transparent manner.

  

Furthermore, we have resolved to appoint an independent and suitably qualified person to manage a dedicated complaints process for anyone who feels ready to share their personal story with us, so we can assist them in any way we can. We understand it may be difficult – even traumatic – for those hurt in the past to come to us, but we can assure each one that they will be treated with respect, compassion, and understanding, and in confidence. As we work through the processes to help and support former residents, we will respect their privacy.

 

It is heartbreaking to us that trust was broken between former residents and the Esther Foundation, and our goal is to restore that trust. The heart of the Esther Foundation is to assist women through trauma and crisis situations including addiction and domestic violence. The Esther Foundation is continually seeking ways to improve the program and ensure best practices are followed at all times. We strive to always partner with appropriately trained professionals and organisations and we are commencing a process to obtain appropriate accreditation to continue to support our program for the benefit of our current and future participants.

We will continue to provide updates throughout this process.

 

Our girls and their stories

The young women in our program have come from extremely difficult circumstances and have learned to not only work through their own issues, but also develop a range of skills by which they then feel confident to contribute as leaders in their local communities.

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Do you know someone who could benefit from the Esther Foundation program? Please feel free to get in touch with one of our passionate support staff:

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Ways to donate

We are a registered ACNC charity and every amount above $2 is tax deductible.
What you give supports the Foundation to reach more young women in need.

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