List of Categories

Adolescent Care
Adolescent Care refers to models of out-of-home care geared to the needs of young people, including Adolescent Units, Early Adolescent Units, Teenage Units and Adolescent Community Placement. Programs for adolescents became more common from the 1980s.
Adoption Agency
The term Adoption Agency refers to any organisation involved in the adoption of babies and children, whether this was mandated by legislation or not. The adoption of children was, and is, controlled by state laws and the states of Australia introduced their first adoption acts at different times, beginning with Western Australia in 1896. Prior to the existence of legislation which legally recognised adoption, 'de facto', 'private' or 'unofficial' adoptions took place. These adoptions were arranged by individuals (such as midwives, or solicitors), by organisations (such as religious or charitable agencies), as well as by government departments.
Advisory Council
The term Advisory Council refers to a group established by legislation to act in an advisory capacity to government on a particular area of policy (such as child welfare).
Advocacy Body
An Advocacy Body is a group formed by people who share concerns around a particular issue, in this case child welfare, and who seek to raise the priority of their concerns on the public and/or government agendas.
Amending Act
An Amending Act is a law passed to amend (change) another law. Amending Acts can change original pieces of legislation (Principal Acts) or they can change previous Amending Acts.
The term Anglican describes a person or orgnisation affiliated with the Anglican Church.
Approved Children's Home
The term 'Approved Children's Home' was applied to Homes that had been certified for the care of children under the relevant state legislation.
Babies' Home
The term Babies' Home generally refers to institutions for children under the age of three, though not all institutions which served this purpose were named babies' homes. For instance, in the nineteenth century, such institutions were often known as infant asylums and others were called foundling hospitals. These institutions were usually associated with services for single mothers, and often functioned (officially or not) as adoption agencies. Staff in babies' homes were usually trained nurses. Some institutions also provided training for mothercraft nurses.
Care Provider
Care provider is an umbrella term that refers to the group or organisation responsible for providing and administering out-of-home 'care' for children. Although this term was not in common usage before the late twentieth century, this website applies it to describe all organisations which operated 'care' services, no matter when they were active.
The term Catholic describes a person or organisation affiliated with the Catholic Church. With child welfare, services were often clustered under the umbrella terms of Protestant and Catholic.
Children's Home
Children's Home is a term used to describe institutions providing out-of-home 'care' for children. The term was commonly used during the period from the 1920s to the 1970s.
Church is a general term which may be applied to any number of (usually Christian) religious groups. The phrase 'the church' usually refers to the official opinion, policy or practice of a particular denomination.
Church Agency
The term Church Agency refers to a service organisation which is associated with a specific Church. Some were operated by religious orders, especially within the Catholic Church, and others were operated by lay people.
Churches of Christ
The Churches of Christ is a movement of autonomous Christian congregations which share a particular understanding of the teachings of Jesus Christ as set out in the New Testament.
Community Service Organisation
Community Service Organisations, or CSOs are privately run groups, often with a religious affiliation, which provide services to the community, including services to support families and out-of-home ‘care’ programs. In some states and territories, including New South Wales, such organisations are known as Non-Government Organisations, or NGOs. Although they are private organisations, they may receive some funding from government to provide particular services.
Convalescent Home
A Convalescent Home was a place where children were sent to rest and recover from illnesses, or after a stay in hospital. Sometimes the term was used to describe a home for women suffering from venereal disease (such institutions were also known as Lock Hospitals or Contagious Diseases Hospitals).
Cottage Care
Cottage care was a model of institutional 'care' which began in the United Kingdom in the late nineteenth century. Along with 'boarding out', cottage home accommodation was seen as an alternative to large scale dormitory-style accommodation (although cottage homes could house up to 40 children).
Cottage Home
The term Cottage Home refers to an institution which provided residential 'care' for children under the cottage care, or 'family cottage' model.
Disability Institution
Disability Institution is an umbrella term used to describe an institution (or other residential program) which provided services to children with special needs, specifically those considered to be living with intellectual, physical and mental disabilities.
Family Group Home
Family Group Home is the name given to a model of 'care' where small groups of children are accommodated in buildings that approximate the size and form of a average family home. They began to appear in as a form of 'care' in Australia from the late 1940s, following concerns about the lack of individual attention given to children in large-scale institutions. Family Group Homes could be run by government departments or by non-government organisations. In Tasmania, Family Group Homes were not introduced until about 1980. In Tasmania, Family Group Homes run by the Social Welfare Department provided temporary 'care' for children.
Farm School
The Farm School was a model of residential 'care' for children, based in a rural area, which trained children (typically boys) in agricultural duties.
Female Rescue Home
Female Rescue Homes' began as institutions associated with the female rescue movement which was based on Evangelical Christian principles, and aimed to reform 'fallen women' (women engaged in prostitution) through a combination of prayer and hard work. The operations of the female rescue homes in Australia were not limited to the rescue of fallen women. Increasingly, these homes catered to single mothers and their babies. Some female rescue homes specialised in women with particular difficulties, such as alcohol and drug dependency, or women released from prison. Despite the evolution of this type of institution from the 1850s, the term 'female rescue home' was still in use in some states in the mid-twentieth century.
Foster Care
Foster Care is a method of out-of-home 'care' provided to children and young people who are temporarily or permanently unable to live with their families of origin. Foster care places these children in private family homes.
Government Agency
A Government Agency is an organisation or service provider directly under the control of and funded by a state or federal government.
Government Department
A Government Department is a group of public servants organised to administer a particular area of government activity, under the control of a minister.
The term 'Government-run' is used to describe an organisation or activity for which a government (usually State, Territory or Federal) is directly responsible.
Holiday Home
A Holiday Home was an institution designed to provide short-term accommodation for children in need. Some children from other institutions were sent to spend holiday periods at Holiday Homes, while staff were on leave.
The term Home is used to describe any institution that accommodated children, for example, orphanages, children's Homes, disability institutions, family group homes, hospitals and juvenile justice institutions.
A Hospital is an institution that provides medical, surgical, or psychiatric care and treatment for the sick or the injured, and to women during and after childbirth.
The term 'Hostel' refers to a type of institution for young people. Most commonly, hostels catered for 'older' children and young people from around the age of 15. Often young people came to a hostel after leaving a children's home or reformatory. Hostels were designed to assist former residents of orphanages and children's homes with the transition to paid employment and independent living. Educational Hostels were another category, providing accommodation and possibly some educational support for young people, in a location nearby to school. Educational hostels are usually located in rural areas.
Industrial School
Industrial Schools were a form of children’s institution popular in the late nineteenth century. Technically, ‘neglected’ children were sent to industrial school to receive industrial training, whereas ‘criminal’ children were sent to reformatories or training schools. This model of ‘care’ was promoted by the British nineteenth century child-reformer Mary Carpenter.
Juvenile Justice Centre
A term adopted in the 1990s to describe institutions providing custodial accommodation for remanded or sentenced young people. These places were also sometimes known as juvenile detention centres or youth detention centres. At times, young people have been accommodated in adult prisons.
Lying-in Home
The term Lying-in Home describes institutions for pregnant women and new mothers. The term was commonly used in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The institution provided a place for women to live during the pregnancy. At some lying-in homes, mothers could give birth (usually with the help of a midwife), and also receive support in the first days/weeks after the birth. Sometimes informal adoptions were arranged for the children of single mothers. Although lying-in homes were sometimes used by mothers to rest during pregnancy, women who were destitute or single were expected to do physical work for their keep.
Maternity Home
The term Maternity Home refers to institutions that provided residential accommodation to pregnant women, usually single women, and they often functioned (officially or not) as adoption agencies.
Non Government Organisation
Non-Government Organisation, or NGO, is a broad term for charities, not-for-profit agencies and religious organisations which provide services to the community, including services to support families and out-of-home 'care' programs. It is commonly used in New South Wales. In some states and territories, including Victoria, such organisations are known as Community Service Organisations, or CSOs. Although separate from government, and independent, many of these organisations perform work for the government and some depend on government funding to survive. 
The term Non-denominational describes organisations without any specific religious affiliation. (although, particularly in the nineteenth century, such organisations were usually identified with Protestant denominations and Catholic children were unlikely to be placed in these institutions).
Orphanage is a term that was usually applied to institutions offering dormitory style accommodation for children. Often the children who lived in orphanages were not orphans in the traditional sense but rather children who could not live with their families for a variety of reasons.
Peak Body
Peak Bodies are organisations, often formed out of grass roots activism or interest in a particular issue, which act as a representative voice for the people and or groups who are their members.
The term Policy refers to a guiding principle adopted by a group, sector or government with respect to a particular issue.
Principal Act
A Principal Act is the original piece of legislation enacted to introduce a particular policy. A Principal Act can be amended (changed) by Amending Acts.
Prison refers to a place for the detention of adults in secure custody, either on remand or after sentencing by a court. Adult prisons continue to be places of detention for some young people in Australia, despite the existence of specific youth and juvenile justice facilities.
The term Protestant describes a person or organisation affiliated with any one of the Protestant Churches. With child welfare, services were often clustered under the umbrella terms of Protestant and Catholic.
Receiving Agency
Receiving Agency was the name given to the organisation named as the ‘custodian’ of children who were sent to Australia as migrants from the United Kingdom or Malta. The term is used mostly for post-World War Two migration, but includes some organisations that were responsible for children who came earlier in the century.
Receiving Home
The term Receiving Home refers to an institution designed to provide short term 'care' for children before they were sent to a longer term placement (for example, placed in foster care, at a children's home or a farm school). In Tasmania, this type of institution approximated the size and form of an average family home. Receiving Homes in other states could be large institutions. Sometimes children spent long periods in a Receiving Home when suitable placements could not be found for them. Children also would return to a Receiving Home after a placement broke down.
Reception Centre
A Reception Centre was an institution designed to provide short term 'care' for children before they were sent to a longer term placement (typically a foster home). Children in Reception Centres often went through a process of 'classification' before being placed. The term came into use around the 1950s. Children would return to a Reception Centre after a foster care or institutional placement broke down.
Records Access Service
A Records Service is an organisation, or part of an organisation, which helps people find and locate records that contain information about them and their time in 'care'.
Records Holder
A Records Holder is an organisation, family or person which holds records.
The term Reformatory refers to a form of children's institution first promoted by the British nineteenth century child-reformer Mary Carpenter. They were originally intended as a means of separating children who had been convicted of criminal offences from the adult prisoner population. At times, children and young people have been accommodated in adult prisons. In Australia reformatories were used for children who were convicted of offences, but also for children who were, for a variety of reasons, judged as needing strong discipline. These institutions were also known as training schools and training institutions.
Religious Order
The term Religious Order refers to a group composed of initiated people committed to a particular set of values within a Church – within Christianity this often refers to religious Brothers (monks) and Sisters (nuns).
Salvation Army
The Salvation Army is a Protestant Church with a strong philanthropic mission which led it to become highly involved with child welfare in many parts of Australia.
The term School refers to an institution (residential or non-residential) designed to provide general education, or training in a specialised area.
Sending Agency
Sending Agency was the name given to the organisation responsible for arranging the migration of children to Australia from the United Kingdom or Malta.
Support Service
Support Services are groups who provide services to assist people who were in 'care' as children. Some of these organisations also provide support services to other family members (like the care leaver's children or grandchildren) who have also been affected.
Temporary Care
Temporary Care is a term to describe the short-term, emergency, respite or crisis accommodation of children and young people.
Term commonly found on child welfare records
A phrase, word or abbreviation commonly used as a shorthand notation within child welfare records.
Type of 'care'
A method of providing for children who are not living with their families.
Youth Training Centre
Youth Training Centre is a term adopted from the 1950s onwards in place of 'reformatory' or 'training institution' to describe residential institutions designed for children and young people considered to require stronger discipline that those directed to other forms of 'care'. In some cases, children placed in Youth Training Centres were on remand, or had been convicted of a criminal offence. Sometimes, these institutions were also known as Juvenile Detention or Juvenile Justice Centres. At times, young people have been accommodated in adult prisons.
Youth Welfare Service
The term Youth Welfare Service refers to an organisation providing a range of support services to young people, particularly teenagers, sometimes including short term hostel placements and life skills training.