This website contains material that is sometimes confronting and disturbing. Sometimes words or images can cause sadness and distress, or bring back memories for people affected by the history of institutional ‘care’ in Australia.
Documents and newspaper articles written many years ago often include offensive and derogatory terms which are today considered unacceptable.
Historical records may also contain references to, or images of, Aboriginal people who have died.
If you need to talk to someone, support is available.
Find & Connect Support Services: Freecall 1800 16 11 09 (Monday–Friday 9am–5pm).
Lifeline: Call 13 11 14 anytime for confidential telephone crisis support.
Sometimes, we have reproduced the original language from our historical sources (such as newspaper articles, or archival records). Please be aware that such sources sometimes use language to describe people in derogatory and offensive ways that are totally unacceptable today. We use such terms in order to demonstrate the language (and thus, the thinking) of the time. We apologise for any offence or distress reading such language might cause.
On this website, we have striven to use inclusive, restorative and non-derogatory language. We know there is no single term that is able to describe the wide and varied experiences – positive and negative – of people who have been in ‘care’ as children, whether as ‘Forgotten Australians’, child migrants, members of the Stolen Generations, adoptees, wards of state, or non-wards.
In most cases, we have fallen back on the terms ‘Care Leavers’, or ‘people who were in “care” as children’. Where we are describing experiences specific to a particular group, we use more specific terms, such as ‘Former Child Migrants’, ‘Forgotten Australians’, ‘members of the Stolen Generations’.
We often use the term ‘care’ in inverted commas, to indicate that many people feel that ‘care’ is not a word to describe their childhood experiences in a Home or other institution. Similarly, when referring to institutions we use Home with a capital H to distinguish it from the usual family home. Our use of the terms ‘institutional care’ or ‘out of home care’ could encompass orphanages, children’s Homes, family group Homes, foster care or kinship care.
We know that many of the commonly used words have shortcomings and we hope that no one feels excluded, misrepresented or offended. We do apologise if this is the case.
This website contains some images of children. These images are held in cultural institutions like state libraries and museums, or they were published in newspapers. Often, these photographs were taken many years ago, before there was much awareness of personal privacy, and the importance of getting a person’s (particularly a child’s) consent to be photographed. We are linking to these images in Find & Connect to improve access to historical material and to raise awareness about the history of Forgotten Australians, Former Child Migrants and all children who experienced ‘care’ in Australia. To protect personal privacy we do not publish the names of any children in any of the photographs without prior approval of the persons named. If you have concerns about a particular image, please get in touch with us to discuss it.
Indigenous Australians are advised that Find & Connect may include images or names of people now deceased.