The modern system of out of home care recognises that children or young people who need care and protection are not to blame for their situation. This wasn't always the case. Historically, children and young people who were abandoned were seen to be tainted and liable to influence other 'good' children. Giving evidence to the Select Committee of the Legislative Council into the State Children Act Amendment Bill in 1918 (p.10), Frederick Daniel Good, President of the Justices' Association of Western Australia and a magistrate in the Children's Court, gave an example of these values: 'A girl of 17 who has had two illegitimate children and who is known to be abandoned should not be sent to an institution where other girls who have not been guilty of anything serious are inmates. Goodness only knows what harm an abandoned girl will do in an institution, where other inmates are not as bad as she is.' The issues around the proximity of children who are taken into care for their own protection and children who have been brought into care via the juvenile justice system has been an ongoing factor in placement decisions and influenced the creation of separate government departments for juvenile justice and child welfare in 1994.
The care and protection of children in Australia is regulated by Acts of Parliament. In Western Australia, there have been five significant phases of this regulation:
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The Find & Connect Support Service can help people who lived in orphanages and children's institutions look for their records.
11 January 2023
Cite this: http://www.findandconnect.gov.au/guide/wa/WE00442
First published by the Find & Connect Web Resource Project for the Commonwealth of Australia, 2011
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