The name change from Social Welfare Department to the Department for Community Welfare reflected a shift towards preventative and supportive programs.
Like the Social Welfare Department in its later phase, the Department for Community Welfare placed an increasing emphasis on keeping children with their families whenever possible. They used a range of measures to do this. Two of these were introducing interim orders, which delayed making a child a ward of state, and the establishment of the Homemaker Service, which supported families in crisis. Increasingly the Domestic Service Assistance Scheme was used to give parents experiencing problems with their children a respite.
The Department for Community Welfare used family support to help families who sought help for their difficulties but whose children were not neglected or youthful offenders.
Family support involved providing the knowledge, skills and practical help that could enable people to sort their problems out. According to the Department's Annual Report of 1983, this assistance was probably the reason that the numbers of children coming into the care of the Department declined at this time.
The primary objective of the Department for Community Welfare was:
'to enable individuals and families who require help to function in society to the best of their ability and to preserve, strengthen and where possible restore the family unit, by counselling, advising and assisting families and individuals in need, and by identifying and developing community support.'
By 1983, the Department had a strategy for meeting this objective. It had three parts:
The Department of Community Welfare had up to 2 placements for state wards in a boarding school between 1983 and 1985.
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The Find & Connect Support Service can help people who lived in orphanages and children's institutions look for their records.
13 February 2019
Cite this: http://www.findandconnect.gov.au/guide/tas/TE00064
First published by the Find & Connect Web Resource Project for the Commonwealth of Australia, 2011
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