Our work improving the information on Find & Connect is ongoing, with new pages, additional records and improved search capability.
Since findandconnect.gov.au was established, more records have been found, more information about records and institutions provided online, and different ways of presenting information make it easier for people who were in care to find what they’re looking for.
The State Records Office of WA (SROWA) pages are the latest example of how our ongoing research can lead to big improvements in what we share online. Knowledge about care, institutions and records access has increased significantly since findandconnect.gov.au was first published. New research has found additional records, more information on institutions, and a clearer path to accessing records for people who were in care.
An extensive survey has led to much more comprehensive information about records, including:
· case (or client) files
· births and deaths in homes and institutions
· correspondence relating to children or families
· records about adoptions and fostering of children
· records about transfers of children to other institutions or to employment
· medical records
· staff diaries, and
· records about “unusual occurrences” involving children.
Most of the records surveyed are administrative rather than personal, although these records provide an important context for life in care, and may also provide some information about individual children.
As a result of our research, 26 new records pages have been added to the website, another 8 have been edited, and still more pages consolidated to make it easier to find information. We now have new records information for over 90 homes and institutions, created by 16 government departments and care providers.
As a result of our review of the SROWA records, we have found a number of homes additional to those on the site, including child welfare cottages, missions, scatter homes, disability homes, and over a dozen children’s work and education hostels across the state. Our work continues with the institutions involved to identify these homes and include them on findandconnect.gov.au.
We will continue our research into records and institutions on a state-by-state basis, and expect more significant updates to the information on findandconnect.gov.au.
To see the latest on the SROWA records, please go to: https://www.findandconnect.gov.au/ref/wa/biogs/WE00502b.htm