Selina Sutherland had previously been involved with the Scots' Church Neglected Children's Aid Society. The year after the Presbyterian Society was founded, there was a very public disagreement between Sutherland and the Presbyterian Church, when the General Assembly dictated that the Society would only receive children under legal guardianship. Sutherland objected to this practice, preferring a system where 'voluntary' placements were possible for families experiencing hardship. Parents whose circumstances improved found it extremely difficult to reclaim their children once they had come under the legal guardianship of an agency.
Sutherland also objected to the directive that the Society give preference to Presbyterian children and board them out only in Presbyterian foster homes. On 16 November 1894, Sutherland (and the ladies' committee) resigned from the Presbyterian Society. At a public meeting on 7 December 1894, it was resolved to form the new organisation, the Victorian Neglected Children's Aid Society.
The Presbyterian Society for Neglected and Destitute Children continued its activities without Sutherland, until in 1895 it merged with the Scots' Church Neglected Children's Aid Society to form the Presbyterian and Scots' Church Children's Aid Society.
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22 July 2020
Cite this: http://www.findandconnect.gov.au/guide/vic/E000145
First published by the Find & Connect Web Resource Project for the Commonwealth of Australia, 2011
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