State of South Australia
The Inquiry into Delinquent and other children in the care of the State began in June 1938. It was established primarily to examine the way in which the government was dealing with children who had committed offences or had 'behavioural problems'. In this era these children were referred to as 'delinquent' children. The final report of this Inquiry, published in September 1939, found that the current system of State care for children was inadequate.
The Final report commended the government on its use of 'boarding out' (an early form of foster care) and recommended that this approach be continued, it was highly critical of government institutions. The report stated that these institutions operated with 'regimes of discipline' which were 'inflicting mental and physical distress' on children rather than 'fostering trustworthiness, self-responsibility, and self-respect'.
Due to the beginning of the Second World War the government was slow to act on many of the Inquiry's recommendations, but physical improvements to some institutions were introduced immediately.
Sources used to compile this entry: 'Alleged Flogging of Boy', The Advertiser (Adelaide, South Australia), 1 June 1938, p. 7, http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/35584657; Report of the Committee appointed by the Government to inquire into Delinquent and other children in the care of the State, South Australian Parliamentary Papers 1939, Issue 75, State of South Australia, Adelaide, South Australia, 1939; Annual Report of the Children's Welfare and Public Relief Board, Adelaide, South Australia, 1940; Swain, Shurlee, History of Australian inquiries reviewing institutions providing care for children, Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, Sydney, October 2014, http://www.childabuseroyalcommission.gov.au/documents/published-research/historical-perspectives-report-3-history-of-inquir.pdf.
Prepared by: Karen George and Gary George
Created: 5 June 2012, Last modified: 14 August 2015