Some people may find content on this website distressing. Read more
The Find & Connect website is changing soon Read more
Tasmania - Organisation

Child Welfare Division (c. 1953 - 1980)

From
c. 1953
To
1980
Categories
Adoption Agency, Care Provider, Government Agency and Support Service

The Child Welfare Division of the Social Services Department, and the Social Welfare Department that succeeded it, managed all aspects of child welfare work, including foster care and the government-run homes.

Details

In 1970, the Child Welfare Division had a Head Office in Hobart and three District Offices in Hobart, Launceston and Burnie. Following de-centralisation of the Department in about 1974, it had Sub-District Offices in Queenstown, Devonport, and George Town. In 1975, after the collapse of the Tasman Bridge, it also opened a Sub-District Office in Bellerive.

The Division investigated the proposed homes and employment of child migrants, liaised with the organisations that brought them to Australia, and acted as their guardians under delegation from the Commonwealth Minister of Immigration.

Under the Matrimonial Causes Act 1959, at the court's request, child welfare officers employed by the Division investigated the plans made by divorcing parents to look after their children.

In 1961, the Division took over responsibility for adoptions from the Registrar-General's Department. Women child welfare officers approved potential adoptive parents, talked to relinquishing mothers, and found placements for their babies. By the 1970s, many more mothers were able to keep their babies. This meant that the welfare officer's role changed to helping the mother to make the decision and, if she kept the baby, putting her on the single mother's allowance, and maintaining regular contact in order to offer support.

Child Welfare Officers employed by the Child Welfare Division registered and monitored foster Homes. They supervised state wards and other children coming under the auspices of the Social Welfare Department and its successors. From the 1970s onwards, the approach became more preventive and the officers worked with families in an attempt to make it less likely that their children would become state wards.

The Division managed the Department's receiving homes, Malmesbury Girls' Home, Wybra Hall, Weeroona Girls' Training Centre, Ashley Home for Boys, and West Winds Boys' Home.

Timeline

 1936 - c. 1953 Children of the State Branch
       c. 1953 - 1980 Child Welfare Division

Related Concepts

  • Single Mothers

    The Child Welfare Division assisted single mothers who kept their babies.

Related Glossary Terms

Related Organisations

Publications

Reports

  • Social Services Department: report for the year ended 30th June 1960, Social Services Department, Hobart, 1960. Details
  • Social Services Department: report for the year ended 30 June 1961, Department of Social Services, Hobart, 1961. Details
  • Department of Social Welfare: report for the year ended 30th June 1965, Department of Social Welfare, Hobart, 1965. Details
  • Department of Social Welfare: report for the year ended 30 June 1969, Department of Social Welfare, Hobart, 1969. Details
  • Department of Social Welfare: report for the year ended 30 June 1970, Department of Social Welfare, Hobart, 1970. Details
  • Department of Social Welfare: report for the year ended 30 June 1971, Department of Social Welfare, Hobart, 1971. Details
  • Department of Social Welfare: report for the year ended 30 June 1974, Department of Social Welfare, Hobart, 1974. Details
  • Department of Social Welfare: report for the year ended 1975, Department of Social Welfare, Hobart, 1975. Details
  • Department of Social Welfare: report for the year ended 30 June 1980, Department of Social Welfare, Hobart, 1980. Details

Sources used to compile this entry: Social Services Department: report for the year ended 30th June 1960, Social Services Department, Hobart, 1960; Social Services Department: report for the year ended 30 June 1961, Department of Social Services, Hobart, 1961; Department of Social Welfare: report for the year ended 30th June 1965, Department of Social Welfare, Hobart, 1965; Department of Social Welfare: report for the year ended 30 June 1969, Department of Social Welfare, Hobart, 1969; Department of Social Welfare: report for the year ended 30 June 1970, Department of Social Welfare, Hobart, 1970; Department of Social Welfare: report for the year ended 30 June 1971, Department of Social Welfare, Hobart, 1971; Department of Social Welfare: report for the year ended 30 June 1974, Department of Social Welfare, Hobart, 1974; Department of Social Welfare: report for the year ended 1975, Department of Social Welfare, Hobart, 1975; Department of Social Welfare: report for the year ended 30 June 1980, Department of Social Welfare, Hobart, 1980.

Prepared by: Caroline Evans