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What kind of records does the Department of Communities and Justice hold?

The Department of Communities & Justice (DCJ) holds records about members of the public who have interacted with the department in relation to any of its functions. This factsheet deals with information held by the former Department of Family & Community Services.

Information on record types held by other agencies in the department 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:

  • whether you 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 to identify the record
  • a specific timeframe for the provision of the information.

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 the department hold?

The department holds a range of records, in a variety of locations, for each different function of the department. Below is a list of databases and locations that the department commonly uses, along with a brief description of the type of information held in each database and or location.


OneTRIM is a records management system that holds electronic documents used by the department to create and store information relating to the functions of the department. Examples of these records include 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)

We use 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.


ChildStory is the department’s information technology system for the protection and wellbeing of children and young people. It 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 associated records. We do not disclose reports lodged by members of the public about children at risk of significant harm.

Physical files

We’re moving towards a paperless office environment but we do still retain some hard copy files. The department holds physical child protection files, family casework files, out-of-home care files, foster carer files, etc. We also hold physical files in relation to clients who previously received disability services from the department, or its predecessors, up until those functions were transitioned to non-government organisations. Physical files relating to inactive child protection cases and historical records may be stored on behalf of the department at the GRR. The department can search GRR’s database (CommServNET) to find surviving records relating to individuals or institutions. The GRR also stores historical information/files dating back to the 19th century. This includes index cards, boarding out registers for individuals, admission and discharge registers for institutions, licensing files for non-government homes, etc.

Need more information?

Find out more online at where you can lodge an application under the GIPA Act online. You can also contact the Open Government, Information and Privacy team on (02) 9716 2662 or email us at

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Last updated: 14 Oct 2020