These materials have been developed to assist organisations with records about children in institutional care manage their archival collections. They were developed as part of the Records Access Documentation Projects by archivists at the University of Melbourne eScholarship Research Centre to improve access to the records of Forgotten Australians and Former Child Migrants.
Information about Care Leavers is often spread through multiple records, record types and formats. We have put together a list of records of significance to Care Leavers, and some things to think about if you have records about out of home ‘care’:
What are records of significance to Care Leavers?
The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse ran from 2013-2017. It handed down its Final Report on December 15, 2017. The Final Report and Case Studies contained many recommendations about recordkeeping relevant to organisations holding records relating to Care Leavers. Read a summary of the Royal Commission’s recommendations about recordkeeping and follow links to the relevant reports:
Records advice from the Royal Commission
Providing and managing access to records is fundamental to any organisation holding records and archives. In 2015, the Department of Social Services published Access to Records by Forgotten Australians and Former Child Migrants: Access Principles for Records Holders. The Principles and Guidelines form a component of the response to the National Apology to Forgotten Australians and Former Child Migrants.
The Principles and Guidelines discuss Care Leaver expectations of records and the impact records can have on Care Leavers; privacy, redaction and the principles of “maximum access”; processing requests from Care Leavers; providing information to Care Leavers; and providing support to Care Leavers accessing records.
View the Access to Records by Forgotten Australians and Former Child Migrants: Access Principles for Records Holders on the DSS website.
The following document was developed by the Find & Connect web resource team to assist organisations in developing a policy on access and privacy:
Download access and privacy document
An Archives Management Survey has been developed as a basis for assessing the management of your archives. It focuses on key aspects of archival practice and provides a framework to evaluate the steps you may need to take to gain better control over your records. It is designed as a working document and should be regularly reviewed.
Download the Archives Management Survey
Another more detailed option for assessing your archive and record keeping practices is the Self Assessment Tool for Archives, developed in 2010 as part of the Who am I? Project.
Download the Self Assessment Tool
Organisations may be eligible for grant funding to undertake activities relating to the records they hold, including digitising, listing and indexing of records. We have compiled lists of potential sources of grant funding for each state:
Funding opportunities for record-holding organisations
The Find & Connect web resource, through funding from the Department of Social Services and its predecessors, has run two rounds of Records Access Documentation grants. You can read about the successful applicants here.
There are many more resources on the web which can help you manage your archival collection. To help you start your search we have compiled a list of resources on digitisation as well as the standards on archival description. If you know of other resources which you would like to add to this list, please contact us.