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.
Benevolent Asylums were institutions set up in the nineteenth century to house 'destitute' men, women and children, as well as 'deserted wives', 'waifs' and 'orphans'. They were run by philanthropic groups and relied on both private donations and government subsidies to fund their work. Before the establishment of institutions specifically for children, many children who would later be classed as 'neglected' or juvenile offenders were accommodated in benevolent asylums.
Last updated: 7 August 2023
Cite this: https://www.findandconnect.gov.au/ref/vic/browse_b_function.htm
First published by the Find & Connect Web Resource Project for the Commonwealth of Australia, 2011