If you've spent time in out-of-home care when you were a child or young person, you can request a copy of the records that were kept relating to your care history.

These records are private, personal, and confidential, and if they are about you, you have the right to ask, and to access them.

Note: If you're unable to access your records through the Care Leaver Records Access Unit, you'll be advised on how to apply via the Open Government, Information and Privacy Unit.


Anyone who was in the statutory out-of-home care of the NSW government agency responsible for child welfare.

This could include children or young people who were:

  • made a state ward, or were committed to the care of a government-run institution by an Order of the Children’s Court under the Child Welfare Act 1939
  • under the parental responsibility of the Minister, or in the care of the Secretary or equivalent
  • adopted after 1991 and had previously been in statutory out-of-home care in NSW.

If you were adopted before 1 January 1991, contact the Adoption Information Unit.

What you need

  • the PDF form – Care Leaver Records Access Application
  • a copy of one of the following:
    • Australian driver licence or photo card with photograph, signature and current address
    • current passport
    • Master Index Number (MIN) card
    • licence or permit issued by the Commonwealth, state or territory government with your photograph and name (such as a boat licence)
  • copies of 2 of the following (only if you do not have one of the above documents):
    • Medicare card
    • health care card
    • standard birth certificate (in your name at the time you were in out-of-home-care)
    • identification card issued to a public employee, or a student at a tertiary education institution.

Note: If your name has changed since you were in out-of-home-care, you'll need a copy of one of the following:

  • change of name certificate
  • marriage certificate
  • statutory declaration
  • other document with evidence of your name change.

How to apply

  1. Select the 'Download PDF form' button.
  2. Select 'Download'.
  3. Complete the form.
  4. Submit your application using the details on the form.

Your application will be acknowledged within 10 working days of being received.

More information

  • Commemorative birth certificates are not acceptable.
  • Care Leaver Records Access only processes the records of people who were in government care as children in NSW.
  • If you lived in a non-government children's home or placement, visit Find & Connect to find where the records are held and how to access them.
Last updated: 14 May 2024

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