Communities and Justice

Child protection, housing and disability records

The Department of Communities and Justice (DCJ) holds records about members of the public who have interacted with the department in relation to any of its functions, including previous iterations of DCJ, for example:

  • Department of Family and Community Services
  • Department of Community Services
  • Department of Youth and Community Services
  • Child Welfare Department
  • Department of Housing
  • Department of Ageing, Disability and Home Care.

Information on record types held by other agencies within DCJ such as Corrective Services or Youth Justice is available at:

Members of the public may lodge an access application under section 9 of the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (GIPA), or seek the production of documents by subpoena/statutory order. This generally requires the payment of an application fee or conduct money.

To help us process your requests quickly, think about the type of information you want to access and be as specific as you can. Try to think about:

  • the subject and type of information you want; are looking for tenancy/housing records, child protection records, records relating to the provision of disability services, etc.
  • the correct name of the record type or information so that DCJ can identify the information/record requested
  • a specific timeframe for the information requested.


If you are seeking information about past adoptions, or those who are considering making contact with an adopted person, birth parent, or family member, please contact the Post Adoption Information Unit on 1300 799 023 or (02) 9716 3005.

Find out more about the Post Adoption Information Unit

Care Leavers

If you spent time in a children’s home or in foster care, you were in out-of-home care.  People who have left out-of-home care are known as care leavers. Care leavers are entitled to access personal information about themselves free of charge by lodging a request directly with the Care Leaver Records Access Unit.

Find out more about the Care Leaver Records Access Unit.

You can also contact the Care Leaver Records Access Unit on 1300 137 160 or (02) 9716 2500.

What type of records/information does DCJ hold?

DCJ holds a range of records, in a variety of locations, for each different function of the department.  Below is a non-exhaustive list of some of the more common databases currently used, along with a brief description of the type of information held in each database and or location.


OneTRIM is a records management system that is used by DCJ to create and store electronic documents relating to the functions of the department. Examples of these records includes, but is not limited to: client tenancy files, ministerial correspondence lodged by members of the public, non-personal contracting and programming information, and electronic versions of historical information stored at the Government Records Repository (GRR).

HOMES (Housing Operations Management Extended Services)

DCJ uses HOMES to manage all aspects of a housing client’s interactions with the department. The HOMES database records all instances of assistance provided to a client, including temporary accommodation, private rental subsidy, tenancy management, etc.

Disability Records

DCJ may hold physical files for clients who received disability services from the department or its predecessors, up until those functions were transitioned to non-government organisations. Additionally, there may also be records held in the Client Information System (CIS), such as client notes, which was previously used by DCJ to record services provided to clients with disabilities.


ChildStory is DCJ’s information technology system for the protection and wellbeing of children and young people.  It encourages collaboration between a child’s network of family, carers, caseworkers and service providers to ensure their safety and wellbeing.

ChildStory contains information relating to risk of significant harm reports, assessments of a child’s welfare and safety, case plans for a child or young person, and other associated records. Records held in ChildStory date from the early 1990s onward.

Please note that we do not disclose reports lodged by members of the public about children at risk of significant harm. 

Physical child protection files

Although DCJ is largely a paperless office environment, we still retain some hard copy files in the form of child protection files, family casework files, out-of-home care files, foster carer files, etc.

Physical files relating to inactive child protection cases and historical records are stored on behalf of DCJ at the GRR. The department can search GRR’s database (CommServNET) of indexed DCJ files to find surviving records relating to individuals or institutions.

The GRR also stores historical information/files dating back to the late 19th century, including index cards, boarding out registers for individuals, admission and discharge registers for institutions, licensing files for non-government homes, etc.

Common file types stored at GRR include, but is not limited to the following:

  • Individual and/or Family file – These files may also be referred to as Child Protection Files, and contain information related to a child protection case. These may have been created for an individual child or for the whole family. These files date from approximately 1981 onwards.
  • Joint Investigation Response Team (JIRT) File - Contain information relating to a child protection case involving sexual assault, serious physical abuse and/or extreme neglect. These files date from approximately 2007 until 2017. JIRT was renamed the Joint Child Protection Response Program (JCPRP) in 2018 and records are now stored in ChildStory.
  • Ward ‘B’ File/Out of Home Care File – Contain information concerning children placed in the care of the Department.  These files date from approximately 1936 to 2017.
  • Institutional ‘B’ File – Contain information relating to children who were committed to institutions in NSW prior to 1991.
  • Family Casework ‘C’ File – Contain information about the parents of wards and families where there were child protection concerns. These files date from approximately the mid-1950s until the late 1980s.
  • Foster Carer File – Contain personal records regarding a foster carer, but they may also hold small amounts of information in relation to children they fostered.

Examples of the types of cards and register records available prior to 1991:

  • Boarding Out Register – Contain personal information of wards and details of their foster placements. These cards date from approximately 1923 through to 1936.
  • Index Card (Institutional Inmates)/Inmate History Cards – Contain personal information of institutional inmates and date from approximately 1958 through to the early 1990s.
  • Ward Card Index – Contain the personal information of wards, dates of admission into care and brief details of placements. Date from approximately 1923 to the early 1990s. 

More information

See Apply online to access information for more information about lodging a GIPA application online with DCJ.

Last updated:

09 Jun 2023