Consultation - Understanding Child Welfare Records

  • Apr 6, 2018
  • In News

The Find and Connect website contains a huge amount of information. It’s the only resource of its type, and it plays an important role in making Australia’s history of out of home care – along with information and support for those seeking records of their time in care – available to those who have an interest in this area.

We are always updating the site with new information about homes and records, but we also need to update the site to ensure all that information is accessible to those people who most need and want to find it.

We’ve made a few changes recently to allow people searching for information about their childhood in out of home care to find out as much as they can in as safe a space as possible. We’re not removing any content from the site, but we are trying to present in a way that does the least harm, in the most helpful way we can.

Part of this project is to provide better explanations about some of the terms used in historical texts about out of home care; particularly the language and abbreviations used in child welfare records. Some of these records are written in ways that are barely intelligible to anyone who isn’t very familiar with them, and that presents a barrier for Care Leavers trying to understand their past.

We are currently developing a quick reference page for people trying to understand the words, terms and abbreviations commonly used on child welfare records. We have linked back where we can to more in-depth information about some terms on the site, but this page is meant to be most useful when you need to know what a specific term or abbreviation on a record means. You can find the page here: (you can only access this page through this link while the consultation is ongoing).

If you’ve accessed records before and could provide some feedback to ensure we’ve covered as much as we can, we’d love to hear from you.

We’re seeking feedback on:

  • Any terms or abbreviations we may have missed, particularly those you might see often while going through records. If so, please let us know and we will add them.
  • We have identified some terms and abbreviations as being from specific states however it is likely these were used in other places too – please let us know if this is the case and we can update our information accordingly.
  • Likewise, there may be terms and abbreviations that are already in our list but have a different meaning in particular states that we haven’t listed – please let us know.
  • We have left the terms in a big long list as that seemed the most comprehensive way to show them, but does make for a long page. Is that usable for you? Is there another way you would prefer to have this information? For example, a printable PDF?

We’ll keep this consultation open for one month, so please get in touch with us with us by May 1st so we can include any information you have. We will send out a reminder in mid-April. This page will continue to be built on and updated. While we are having this initial period of consultation, we are always happy to add new terms and meanings at any time.

Please email with any suggestions or changes you have.