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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:
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:
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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:
Examples of the types of cards and register records available prior to 1991:
See Apply online to access information for more information about lodging a GIPA application online with DCJ.
09 Jun 2023
We acknowledge Aboriginal people as the First Nations Peoples of NSW and pay our respects to Elders past, present, and future.
Informed by lessons of the past, Department of Communities and Justice is improving how we work with Aboriginal people and communities. We listen and learn from the knowledge, strength and resilience of Stolen Generations Survivors, Aboriginal Elders and Aboriginal communities.
You can access our apology to the Stolen Generations.