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Tasmania - Archival Series

Correspondence Relating to the Custody and Welfare of Children under Various Acts (1887 - 1954)

Reference No
Legal Status
Tasmanian Archive and Heritage Office Series Number

The Correspondence Relating to the Custody and Welfare of Children under Various Acts contains the case files of children brought to the attention of the state. The records were created by the government departments with responsibility for child welfare. These records comprise correspondence associated with the provision of 'care' for children in a variety of circumstances.


Access Conditions

D75 Years
D75 means these records are closed to the general public for 75 years from the date of the last entry in them (that is, 75 years from the end of the child's 'case'). 75 years after this date, the records become available to the public, on 'open access'.

For records in the closed access period, people wishing to access these records should contact Children and Youth Services, which is run by the Department of Health and Human Services. How access is provided once permission is granted will depend on the file. Usually Children and Youth Services request it back and then provide access or copies. Staff at the Tasmanian Archive and Heritage Office may be able to assist you in finding other relevant records.

The Tasmanian Archive and Heritage Office web site lists the name of each child made a ward of state between 1898 and 1932.

Many of the open access files in this series have been digitised, and are available to be viewed online.


The files include correspondence with birth parents, foster parents, and state children. There are also inspectors' reports and inter-departmental memos. Each file opens with the child's committal form which has details of birth parents, religion, and reasons for committal.

A few of these files are administrative, for example, NCD 3270 contains documents about the Citizens' Committee re Boarded-out Children.

The titles of the files change with different periods of government administration.

Gaps in numbers occurred when files still in use were moved into another set of files. These files might be found in the subsequent or a related series to SWD1.The titles of the files show cross references to files that may also be found in a subsequent or related series.

Some of the abbreviations used by the government departments are: NCD - Neglected Children's Department, CSD - Children of the State Department, CGD - Charitable Grants Department, SSD - Social Services Department, ILP - Infant Life Protection, BTS - Boys Training School.

Sometimes the Department followed the progress of an individual in an unofficial capacity, for instance, noting marriage notices from the local newspaper. Similarly, the Department attached enquiries made after a case was closed or the individual had been discharged. These later additions to the case files do not make a difference to access. That is, it is possible to find files on open access which have folios added after their official end date. However, researchers are not supposed to use this additional material without permission.

Related Archival Series

Related Contact Details

Related Glossary Terms

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Prepared by: Caroline Evans