“Sissy was turned away on 2 separate occasions. And it wasn’t until her husband made contact with the NSW Ombudsman that she was eventually able to see her foster care records for the first time.
‘I have 2 photos. One where I was about three and a half/four, and one where I’m dressed in my school uniform for my first day of school, standing in the driveway of a place at Blacktown. So I wouldn’t have had those 2 photos if I wasn’t able to access my file’.”
The profoundly damaging effect of poor recordkeeping practices has been a prominent theme in the stories told to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.
The files of Care Leavers can provide important links to their lives as children – their experiences, where they lived, and their family members. However these files can be difficult to access, and may even be redacted before being released.
The attached transcript details interviews with Care Leavers Saundra Chapman and ‘Sissy,’ and Leonie Sheedy the CEO and co-founder of CLAN.
This ABC World Today interview details some of the difficulties that Care Leavers face when trying to piece together their own histories.
DOWNLOAD PDF HERE: Transcript of Recordkeeping under child abuse Royal Commission spotlight
LISTEN HERE: Recordkeeping under child abuse Royal Commission spotlight
November 1, 2016 at 5:07 pm
How brave of Sissy and Saundra to do the interview
Wish our history was taught in every high school of Australia . As one 80 yr old Care Leaver said, “He knows more about Captain Cook than he knows about his own father !”
Most Australians know the history of Captain Cook but they are ignorant of the 900 orphanages and children’s Homes Australia once had and the child welfare history and the legacy of the long term damage to State wards, Homies , Care Leavers , Wardies & lastly that terrible label the government chose for us -FA’s
Our records matters and should be retained forever just as the Aboriginal Stolen Generations records are.
We have nothing to be ashamed of in regards to words written in our files
Churches Charities and State Govts are the ones who should be ashamed !