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services for former residents, care leavers and their families

Cafs’ Heritage and History Team provides services to support the rights of former residents, care leavers and their families to access records the organisation holds about them. The collection includes records, photographs and objects that relate to the former Ballarat Orphan Asylum, Ballarat Orphanage and Ballarat Children’s Home.


For all records search and access enquiries please contact our Heritage and History Service Team:

Email – records@cafs.org.au
Phone – 1800692237


Hours of Operation are 9 am – 5 pm Monday, Wednesday and Friday. In person viewing of the collection is by appointment only.



Wendy Sturgess, Chief Executive Officer of Cafs, is pleased to announce the Cafs’ Board has made the decision in December 2018 to join the National Redress Scheme.  This means that people who were abused in the care of the Ballarat Orphanage and Ballarat Children’s Home can apply to the Scheme for redress.

The National Redress Scheme commenced in July 2018 and will operate for 10 years. It has been introduced in response to recommendations by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

Redress is an alternative to seeking compensation through the courts.

The National Redress Scheme can provide three things:

  • Access to counselling
  • A payment and
  • A direct personal response from the institution (apology) for people who want it.

The National Redress Scheme supports you seeking information by providing the attached fact sheets:

Free and confidential Redress Support Services are available throughout the process.  They will assist in explaining how the Scheme works and who can apply.



Cafs believes:

‘There is no greater agony than bearing the burden of an untold story inside you”

To this extent, Cafs would like to give survivors an opportunity to speak to their experiences, to be heard, understood and believed.  This can be in one of the following forms:

  • A face to face meeting, in which the survivor meets with a senior member of the organisation
  • A written apology
  • Any other method agreed with the survivor and Cafs

For further information about participating in a “Direct Personal Response’ please call the CEO office on 5337 3321


For further information about the National Redress Scheme please go to: https://www.nationalredress.gov.au/ or call the National Redress Scheme line on 1800 737 377.


The Government’s response  was tabled in Parliament on Thursday 10 March,2022 and is available at the following link: https://www.parliament.vic.gov.au/lsic-la/inquiries/article/4258

We acknowledge that this is an extremely sensitive topic and support will be provided to those who need it. There is a dedicated team of consultants, including a First Nations consultant, available to provide telephone counselling or support. If you would like to speak to someone, there are several options available to you.

A dedicated line at Converge can be contacted on 0434 617 594Please provide reference number JN657450 to allow the administrator to connect you to the team dedicated to this matter, including the First Nations consultant. This number is available during regular business hours (i.e. 9am – 5pm Monday to Friday). You can also SMS this number outside business hours and you will receive a call-back on the next business day.

You can also reach out for support via email if preferred. Emails received outside of business hours will be replied to on the next business day. Please email consulting@convergeintl.com.au

There are also several other specialist counselling supports available for you to access at any time:

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