Northern Territory Welfare Branch and successors
Correspondence files relating to the alleviation of distress with "A" prefix is a series of files concerning the provision of welfare services of many different types to individuals and families. Each file carries the name of an individual or a family and includes letters and other documents related to applications for emergency assistance.
Most government records in the Northern Territory are open for research 30 years after the end of the year in which the records were created. Some records, however, are subject to restrictions due to their sensitive or confidential nature. This is the case with many records related to children under the care of the government. These records are restricted for 100 years from the date of their creation.
To apply for access to closed records, you will need to write to the Northern Territory Archives Service. The government agency responsible for the records you wish to access will then consider the granting of access. This is done on a case by case basis. Please contact the Archives for assistance and further information about how to apply for access to closed records. A number of Fact Sheets for researchers are also available on the Archives website.
The files in this series were indexed during 2011-2014. The kind of information collected in each index includes: client name (including aliases and nicknames), date of birth, birth parent names, names of foster and/or adoptive parents, sibling names, names and locations of other institutions (Northern Territory or interstate - non government or church organisation, and other state welfare institutions or hospitals), other file numbers or references, and whether there are photographs on file.
These correspondence files are arranged by number with the letter 'A' identifying them as part of the series called, 'alleviation of distress'. The assistance requested was often for basic needs like food and accommodation, clothing and furniture but could also include other items such as spectacles.
The Welfare Branch assisted children under the care of the Director of Welfare and children with disabilities as well as other people in need such as recent migrants, deserted wives and children, unmarried mothers, the elderly and homeless and people released from prison. Some files relate directly to children in care, but in many cases a file might begin with a mother's application for some form of assistance and then continue into correspondence about children to be placed in care. The files relate to both Aboriginal and non Aboriginal people. Documents also relate to the placement of children in institutions in the Northern Territory and interstate.
Before they were lodged into the Northern Territory Archives, this series carried the goevrnment record series reference number F942.
Sources used to compile this entry: Guide to Archives Relating to Aboriginal People, Northern Territory Archives Service, Northern Territory Government, 8 April 2010.
Prepared by: Karen George and Gary George
Created: 27 August 2012, Last modified: 3 December 2014