To access these guides, search this website, using:

  • Institutions’ names
  • Functions (such as Child Protection, Foster Care, Disability, Mental Health)

To apply for paper records listed within the guides contact: 

 Care Leavers Record Service
 Department of Health and Human Services
 GPO Box 4057
 Melbourne VIC 3001
 Telephone: (03) 9096 8449 or 1300 650 172
 Email: clrs@dhhs.vic.gov.au

Find and Connect provides care leavers (including Forgotten Australians and Stolen Generations) advice about what to expect when looking for records.

In 1973 Victoria introduced legislation (Public Records Act 1973) that set the standards for creating, managing and preserving records. Prior to 1973, each institution decided what should be recorded, how records were stored and archived. 

Unfortunately, some institutions lost or destroyed historical records. In the past, some records were also destroyed by the department under the Act’s guidelines. 

provides care leavers (including Forgotten Australians and Stolen Generations) advice about what to expect when looking for records.

Find and Connect and Open Place provide information about non-government services that may also hold records. The State Library also holds some records on behalf of institutions that have now closed.

Terminology

This website uses the term ‘care leavers’ for all individuals who experienced institutional or out-of-home 'care' as children or young people (i.e. under the age of 18), whether in foster care, residential care, or as wards of the state, including those who resided in disability or mental health facilities. 

The following summarises the terminology preferences of different groups who experienced out of home care: Stolen Generations, Forgotten Australians and Care Leavers.

Care Leavers

The term is widely used by federal and state government departments and researchers in Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States of America.

For more information:

Forgotten Australians

The term preferred by many of the more than 500,000 Australians and child migrants who experienced out-of-home care in Australia from 1930 to the 1970s.

For more information:

Stolen Generations

The term for Aboriginal and Torres Strait  Islander people who, as children, were forcibly removed or separated from their families, communities, traditional culture and country.

This happened as a result of past government policies in the late 1800s to 1970s.

For more information: