It’s been almost three years since the Commonwealth Department of Social Services (DSS) released Access to records by Forgotten Australians and Former Child Migrants, a set of access principles for records holders and best practice guidelines in providing access to records. Similarly, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse (RCIRCSA) released its Final Report about nine months ago, with a set of Recordkeeping Principles for Child Safety and Wellbeing in Volume 8 — although we were given an inkling of the tenor of these principles in an earlier Consultation paper. Importantly, Volume 8 of the RCIRCSA final report also highlighted the lack of data available on the implementation of the previous DSS access principles.
Enough time has passed now to start collecting data about the implementation of both sets of principles throughout the sector. The Rights in Records by Design project is conducting an anonymous survey that will start to provide this data.
In the Rights in Records by Design project, we are investigating the design of participatory and rights-based recordkeeping and archiving infrastructure for the out-of-home Care sector. We are aiming to develop a conceptual model for Lifelong Living Archives for Childhood Out-of-home Care that are better able to meet lifelong identity, memory, and accountability needs. As part of this project, we seek to survey professionals connected in some way to recordkeeping and archiving for the out-of-home Care sector. For example: in records creation; records/archives management; records access provision or support; managerial, records, and/or archives services; policy development; systems development; education and training; and so on.
We are looking to capture professional perspectives in relation to sector-wide capacities for the implementation of the RCIRCSA Recordkeeping Principles and the DSS Records Access Principles and Guidelines. We would like to understand how these principles are being applied throughout the sector, the issues that surface when trying to do so, and what barriers to their adoption may exist.
Participation involves voluntarily completing an anonymous survey, reflecting on the capacity in your context to implement these principles. Note that we are not looking for formal organisational responses, but ones based on individual experiences as a recordkeeping or other professional, working in an out-of-home Care context.
The survey should take 30 minutes to 1 hour to complete, depending on the detail of responses. It doesn’t need to be completed in one go; you can pause and come back to it at a later time (using the same computer and browser). Once completed, participants will be given an opportunity to register for notification about the survey results and future iterations of this survey. We do not collect any personal details as part of the survey, and contact details for notification are kept separate from the survey responses.
You can access the online survey here, which includes a detailed explanatory statement. The survey is currently open and will close on Friday 16 November. For more information, please see the Setting the Record Straight for the Rights of the Child initiative web site or contact Chief Investigator Joanne Evans.
Rights in Records by Design is funded through an Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery Grant DP170100198 – Rights in Records by Design. The Chief Investigators on this project are Associate Professor Joanne Evans (Monash University), Associate Professor Jacqueline Wilson (Federation University), Professor Sue McKemmish (Monash University), Assoc. Professor Philip Mendes (Monash University), Professor Keir Reeves (Federation University), and Dr Jane Bone (Monash University)
Associate Professor Joanne Evans’s involvement is also funded through an ARC Future Fellowship FT140100073 – Connecting the Disconnected: Co-Designing Inclusive Archival and Recordkeeping Systems.