- Introduction: starting the journey
- Where do I start?
- Why are there files about me?
- How will I feel when I look at files about me?
- What is on the file about me?
- Where else can I go for information about me?
- Who can access records about me?
- Can I access other people's files?
- Have recordkeepers learned anything from the past?
- Getting help to find records about you
- Records Services
What to expect when accessing records about you
Where do I start?
It wasn't until the day I turned 50 that I even had the balls enough to ask for my file … And that took a lot of guts for me to go and ask for that.
One woman told of driving into the main driveway over a dozen times, over several years before she had the courage to get out and ask for help.
People seek out their personal records for different reasons, and are seeking answers to particular personal questions – everyone's story is different.
There are some common triggers that lead many 'care' leavers to start the journey of accessing their records – the death of a parent or family member, the birth of a child – becoming a parent, hearing something in the news, curiosity about your childhood, and childhood friends, attending a reunion – everyone is different.
It can take a long time to actually make the decision to approach an organisation and ask about your records.
What can you expect to find on the journey?
Where are the records?
Your personal records might be held in one or several repositories in Victoria, within the collections of government and non-government organisations. Many former and current care providers have established heritage and information services to help former residents and their families locate and access records.
In Find & Connect we have tried to include information about every out of home care faciltity or program in Victoria, from the 1840s to the present time. To find information about the institution, Home, or residence you were in, and who to contact for access to records, you can Browse Organisations A-Z. Click on an organisation in the list to find out about the records - where they are, and how you can access them. (Note: Another way to find a organisation or institution is by typing the name of the organisation in the search box.)
If you can't find the place you are looking for in Find & Connect, there are organisations that can help you find your records, and support you through the process - see Getting help to find your records.