Records Access Project: Report of the Survey of Record-holders and Support Services

Murray, S 2012, Records Access Project: Report of the Survey of Record-holders and Support Services, Centre for Applied Social Research, RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia


Document type: Commissioned Reports
Collection: Commissioned Reports

Title of report Records Access Project: Report of the Survey of Record-holders and Support Services
Author(s) Murray, S
Year of publication 2012
Publisher Centre for Applied Social Research, RMIT University
Place of publication Melbourne, Australia
Subjects Social Policy
Abstract/Summary The RAP research was concerned with care-leavers' access to personal records. The first stage of the research was undertaken with care-leavers themselves (Murray, 2011). This second stage of the research was with record-holders and related support services. The research found that there is a high level of commitment among this sample of eleven organisations to release records to care-leavers. Underpinning this work was an understanding that it be done with sensitivity and in supportive ways. Understanding the importance of records to care-leavers has been key to ensuring that the release of records has been given due attention. While this study was specifically concerned with records release, the research found that often the work is much more than this. Thus, another way of understanding this area of work is that it is to help care-leavers find answers to questions they are asking about their childhood, personal history and family. While it could be that for some care-leavers their records are specifically what they are looking for; for others, the records are one of several sources that are means to finding information about themselves and their family. Having said that, resource limitations constrain some organisations in the scope of their activities. Across the sample of record-holders involved in this research, all released care records and many assisted care-leavers to seek care records from other sources. As well, a smaller number assisted in searching for other sources of information and for family members, and facilitated family reunions, as did the two support services.
Commissioning body Author contracted by University of Melbourne to conduct research as part of ARC Linkage
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