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South Australia - Archival Series

Files relating to children under departmental supervision (1920 - 1950s)

Social Welfare Department and Predecessors

Reference No
Legal Status
State Records of South Australia Series ID

From 1920 the State Children's Department began to create 'files relating to children under departmental supervision' (GRG 29/123). These were a series of correspondence dockets on different subjects created when necessary.


Access Conditions

A Research Centre Members card, obtainable at the Archives, is required to research records held at State Records.

Although some very early records relating to children in care in South Australia are open for access, most records relating to children are subject to a 100 year restriction, particularly those which contain personal information about individuals. Written permission must be obtained from the government agency which created the record in order to access restricted material. To obtain permission a Freedom of Information (FOI) request form must be submitted to the relevant government department. State Records staff will be able to assist you with this.


Each docket carried a reference made up of a number and the year in which it was create so for example 1/1922 would be the first docket created in 1922 and 2/1922, the second. Sometimes a number of dockets might be created relating to one child. Each would have a different reference number.
Although each docket concerns a particular child, the name on the file is not always that of the child. Files are also titled with the name of the parent or a foster carer. The first series of these files relates to children who came into care from 1920 onwards and who left care by the early 1950s. A later series GRG 29/108 relates to children who came into care from 1950-1978.

This series is arranged alphabetically by surname. The original files are held at State Records and are restricted for 100 years.


Online Resources

Sources used to compile this entry: George, Karen, Finding your own way, Nunkuwarrin Yunti of South Australia Inc., 2005,

Prepared by: Karen George