How To Find Your File

There are now several resources available to assist you in locating your ward file or other personal records from when you or someone close to you was in "care" and separated from family members. As well as brochures designed to assist you in locating and accessing your file, there are counseling services and other support services to help you along the way.

The information provided below and on the subsequent pages refers to if you were a State Ward. If not a State Ward, but were in an orphanage or Children's Home in Australia, or were fostered, please click HERE


State Wards

If you were a state ward, there may be a file, or an index card on you, held by the government department which now operates child and family services in your state. Please do be aware however that this is not always the case, and that there may not be a file. Records have sometimes been poorly kept, been lost or have disappeared over the years.

Information for former state wards in all states is often located within the section of the current child and family services department that deals with adoption. CLAN does not believe this is appropriate and we are working to change it. We would like to see a service in all state departments dedicated entirely to the needs of state wards.

Below you will find the procedure to go through, state by state, to obtain a copy of your state ward file. Information published below has been provided by the various government departments. Note that the department's name would have been different when you were a state ward, and was usually something related to 'child welfare'.