The Find and Connect web resource is moving to the Faculty of Arts at Melbourne University, out of Student and Scholarly Services. This is an administrative change that won’t in any way affect the work we do, or the way we work with people who spent time in out of home care. The email address, phone number, blog and service we provide will stay the same. Because this is just an administrative change at the university, it does not affect the Find & Connect support services in any way, or the support they can provide you. There may be some new opportunities that come from being in a new place. If anything that may be of benefit to people who spent time in out of home care comes up, we will start consultation with the community the same way we always have. We’re still doing what we do, with you.
Earlier this year, Find & Connect made a submission to the Proactive and Informal Release of Information in the Victorian Public Sector Discussion Paper, to the Office of the Victorian Information Commissioner, which is now available on their website.
People who grew up in out-of-home care know much less about their childhood than is generally accepted in our community, and are actively prevented from finding out banal details that are often taken for granted – the names of their classmates, school photographs, photographs of their friends and carers. This community has as much right to information about those that were in their lives as children – their friends, carers and families -as every other Australian.
Many in this community still suffer the impacts of childhood trauma, and are currently forced to undertake a highly bureaucratic FOI process to gain access to information that many of us take for granted – school reports, medical histories, even the name of their parents and siblings.
This process is significantly worsened by the application of exemptions under the Freedom of Information Act, particularly where exempt third-party information includes information critically important to them. This information can not only affect the health and wellbeing of the person that was in care, but also that of their family.
You can read the full submission here: https://ovic.vic.gov.au/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Find-and-Connect.pdf (pdf download) and read more about the paper (and some other submissions here): https://ovic.vic.gov.au/consultation-on-proactive-and-informal-release-discussion-paper/