Child and Family Services Ballarat (Cafs) came into being in 1998. Previously, it was known as Ballarat Children’s Homes and Family Services. Cafs is a community service organisation that provides a range of programs and services to children, young people and families. The heritage of the organisation dates back to 1865, when the Ballarat District Orphan Asylum was established, amid great concern for the children affected by the rapid social changes of the gold rush era.

The Heritage Centre of Child and Family Services Ballarat was established in July 2000, when it was known as the Heritage Support Service. The Heritage Centre was formed to better meet requests for personal information made by past residents of the Orphanage and Children’s Homes, and to provide support for those who chose to seek such information about their childhood and heritage. For many past residents, it is often a highly emotional experience, which may also be a part of a personal journey about identity, belonging, heritage and healing.

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