We’re privileged to have the input and feedback of those who were in institutional care as children, the support services established for them, and the broader community around them.
Before we shut down for the year we thought we’d share some of our achievements over 2017, made possible by the engagement of these groups and individuals.
The Records Access Documentation Grants – round two (RAD2) saw 17 organisations across Australia improve access to records, some decreasing the time from records-request to records-availability by weeks. 127 homes had records information were updated, and 16 homes added to the site.
We updated both our Image and Language policies to better reflect the needs of those who use the site.
The team gave a number of presentations and conference papers about Find & Connect, including a Legalwise Seminar, presenting the Child Welfare Timeline at the ALIA Online Conference, and presenting at the Australian Society of Archivists conference. We were also involved in a number of conference panel discussions about recordkeeping and out of home care.
We started the Support Service Series on the blog to showcase the Find and Connect support services, and also for those who may have found the idea of accessing support challenging – each post is written by a state-based service, and gives an idea of what to expect when you first contact a service. The first three have already been published, and we will continue into 2018 to cover all the states and territories.
Our most popular blog post was one that resonated with a lot of people, and focused on the power structures that exist around archives and records – something many people trying to access their own records have experienced first hand.
Through the eScholarship Research Centre, where we are based, we were partners in the Setting the Record Straight: For the Rights of the Child Summit
To finish off the year, as the final report from the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Abuse was handed down, we covered the recommendations around record keeping, and also other issues impacting people who were in care, both on the blog, and with a more comprehensive summary on the webpage.
Christmas opening hours for the Find & Connect support services differ between states; the opening hours for the services in each state and territory are listed below.
When the Find & Connect support services are closed, your calls to 1800 16 11 09 will go to an answering machine. Your calls and emails will be responded to when the offices re-open in the new year.
If you need urgent assistance over the Christmas period, please call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Blue Knot Helpline 1300 657 380 (9am – 5pm AEDT).
Relationships Australia Canberra and Region will be closed from 5pm Thursday 21 December, and will reopen on Friday 5 January 2018.
New South Wales
Wattle Place – Find & Connect NSW will be closed from 5pm Friday 22 December, and will reopen on Tuesday 2 January 2018.
Relationships Australia NT will be closed from 5pm Friday 22 December, and will reopen on Tuesday 2 January 2018.
Lotus Place – Find & Connect QLD will be closed on public holidays during the Christmas/New Year period. The office will be closed Monday 25th December, Tuesday 26th December, Monday 1st January and will be open 9-5 all other business days.
Elm Place will be closed from 5pm Friday 22 December and will reopen on Tuesday 2 January 2018.
Relationships Australia – Tasmania will be closed from 2pm on Friday 22 December and will reopen on Tuesday 2 January 2018.
Open Place will be closed on public holidays during the Christmas/New Year period. The office will be closed from 3pm Friday 22 December and will reopen Wednesday 27 December. It will also be closed from 3pm Friday 29 December and reopen Tuesday 2 January 2018.
Lanterns House will be closed from 5pm on Friday 22 December, and will reopen on Tuesday 2 January 2018.
Find & Connect web resource team
The web resource team will be taking a break from 12pm Friday 22 December, until Tuesday 2 January 2018. Your emails will be responded to when we are back in the new year. Best wishes to all for the holidays.