Building a life story: Providing records and support to former residents of children's homes

Murray, S, Malone, J and Glare, J 2008, 'Building a life story: Providing records and support to former residents of children's homes', Australian Social Work, vol. 61, no. 3, pp. 239-255.


Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

Title Building a life story: Providing records and support to former residents of children's homes
Author(s) Murray, S
Malone, J
Glare, J
Year 2008
Journal name Australian Social Work
Volume number 61
Issue number 3
Start page 239
End page 255
Total pages 16
Publisher Taylor and Francis
Abstract Approximately 500,000 children were institutionalised in Australian orphanages and other forms of children's Homes over the course of the 20th century. However, growing up in care is not just a part of childhood; it can have ongoing impact across a person's life. Access to records can be a very important way in which people who grew up in institutional care construct the story of their lives, contributing to their self-identity, and also find out practical information, such as their exact date of birth and medical history. The present article takes as its starting point a recommendation of the third of the Australian Government reports concerned with the institutionalisation of Australian children 'Forgotten Australians' and draws on interviews with former residents of children's Homes aged between 42 and 76 years to examine their access to records in Australia. We discuss a case study, the unique Heritage Information Service at MacKillop Family Services, which supports former residents to access their records, and consider the implications for good practice of agencies working in this area.
Subject Counselling, Welfare and Community Services
DOI - identifier 10.1080/03124070801998434
Copyright notice © 2008 Australian Association of Social Workers
ISSN 0312-407X
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