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Western Australia - Archival Collection

Records of the Department of Child Protection and Family Support, and predecessors (1894 - )


Records of the Department of Child Protection and Family Support, and predecessors is a collection dating back to 1894. It is held by Child Protection and Family Support (CPFS). The collection includes records from the Government Receiving Depot, the State Children's Department, the Child Welfare Department and more recent departments which have been known at different times as the Department for Child Protection, Community Development, Community Welfare, Community Services, and Family and Children's Services. The records relate to children who were placed in all types of out of home 'care' in Western Australia. Some of the records held by the CPFS were originally created by another government department or private agency.


Access Conditions

Access to these records is restricted and confidentiality is protected by the Department. If you believe the Department may hold records about you, or about a family member, you are encouraged to apply. Access is governed by the Freedom of Information Act 1992 and the Department has a form on their website which you must use to apply for records.


The types of records held by the Department include admission book registers, individual files, adoption placements and Children's Court registers.

In the past, many people were separated from their families due to policies and practices which reflected the social attitudes of those times. As a result many people do not know their relatives, their own background, childhood or family history. Files are limited in the amount and type of information they hold. This is because the information which was recorded depended on the extent of contact with the person or the family. Sometimes records are incomplete, have pages missing or the writing has deteriorated and is unreadable, and some files have been destroyed. The Department is making every effort to preserve the remaining records. Department for Child Protection, 2011.

Related Archival Collections

  • Hillcrest Records (1912 - 1974)

    The Hillcrest Records Collection is a separate collection held by Child Protection and Family Support within the Western Australian Government Records relating to Child Welfare and Protection. One reason for this is that many young women who were Wards were admitted to Hillcrest to have their babies.

  • Youth Justice Records (1994 - )

    Youth justice records before July 1994 have been under the control of the child welfare authorities. People who are looking for youth detention records should contact the Department for Child Protection and Family Support for pre-July 1994 records and the Department for Corrective Services for post-July 1994 records.

Related Archival Series


Online Resources

Prepared by: Debra Rosser