Last updated:

November 25, 2019


Please note that this page is currently being redeveloped.


This topic guide may help locate records at Public Record Office Victoria about children who were placed under the care of the state of Victoria. 

Things to note:

  • In general, you will not be able to access records about a person who may be still alive, as they are closed records.  
  • We hold very few records about children who had been under state care. 
  • If you are looking for records of your own or an immediate family member, you can request access under Freedom of Information laws. 
  • There are also Government Department's available to help (see side-links).
  • There are community organisations that are able to help (see side-links). 


What do I need to know before I start?

Records of adoption, children in care, students or wards of state are treated as private and sensitive to the people involved and often closed under Section 9 . 

For historic records or family records this information is helpful:

  • name and year they were admitted
  • the dates of the adoption or time ‘in care’
  • the town or suburb where the child was when care was transferred (to identify court records)
  • the names of any orphanages or other institutions involved.

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Various record series
Accessing records of mental and physical health
Record Series Number (VPRS): 4527