Child Welfare Records

“I have brought my list of records, from several orphanages, DOCS, different places…I’ve been looking for my family for 40 years. I went back to Broken Hill, in fact I dragged my family all around the state. Searching my grandmother’s photos, hoarding them – everything was important to me”. (Care Leaver talking at Find & Connect workshop, 2014)

We would like to acknowledge those who spent time as children or youths in orphanages, children’s homes, foster homes or any other form of institutional or out-of-home ‘care’.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples should be aware that University of Melbourne Collections may contain images, voices or names of deceased persons, or culturally sensitive content (more information).

The University of Melbourne Archives is home to an array of collections which provide insight into the sometimes harsh reality of growing up in an institution in Victoria in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. This is a Guide to those records and a document of the University’s efforts to make them accessible for Care Leavers and their families.