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Western Australia - Organisation

The Children's Society (1881 - )

United Kingdom

Anglican, Care Provider, Church Agency, Cottage Care, Records Holder and Sending Agency
Alternative Names
  • Church of England Children's Society (also known as, 1946 - 1982)
  • The Church of England Incorporated Society for Providing Homes for Waifs and Strays (also known as, 1881 - 1946)
  • The Waifs and Strays Society (also known as, 1881 - 1946)

The Children's Society was established in Britain in 1881 as 'The Waifs and Strays Society'. From 1925 they were involved in sending a total of around 400 children from their Homes in Britain to Australia. Children were sent to Fairbridge Farm School Pinjarra (1925-1939, then 1948-1953) and Swan Homes (later known as Swanleigh) in Western Australia (1949).


A brief history on The Children's Society website says that they developed a series of cottage homes rather than large institutions. Information about these Homes is listed on The Children's Society's historical website, 'Hidden Lives'.

The Children's Society gave evidence about its child migration practices to the Select Committee into Child Migration, Legislative Assembly, Parliament of Western Australia (1996).

In their 1998 evidence to the British parliament's Inquiry into the Welfare of Former British Child Migrants, The Children's Society stated they had a 'post-adoption and care service' which included enquiries about child migration. Information about the impact on former child migrants and ongoing service needs was included in the Memorandum tabled in evidence about this service.

Related Glossary Terms

Related Organisations


Online Resources

Sources used to compile this entry: Hidden Lives Revealed [The Children's Society, UK], The Children’s Society,; The Children's Society, 'Memorandum by The Children's Society', in Minutes of Evidence Taken Before the Health Committee on 11 June 1998, Parliament of the United Kingdom, 11 June 1998,

Prepared by: Debra Rosser