Added: Desaray Tarpley - Date: 27.10.2021 08:44 - Views: 17405 - Clicks: 8803
Chapter 2 - Institutional care in australia All I understood was that I was away from my family, and as bad as they said that situation was, it was still my family, and it was the only way of life I had known. So began my life of fear, confusion, humiliation and shame as an orphan of the living in the Ballarat Orphanage. Sub Institution is rarely to be taken to be a positive term. An oft-cited Goffman definition of institutions includes:.
A basic social arrangement in modern society is that the individual tends to sleep, play and work in different places, with different co-participants, under different authorities, and without an overall rational plan. The central feature of total institutions can be described as a breakdown of the barriers ordinarily separating these three spheres of life. It was abusive to be kept in an institution separate from your family. It was abusive to be denied rights as a human being, such as affection and relationships. It was abusive to be required to get up at five o'clock in the morning and milk the cows or have a cold shower.
Of ificance is that while children and young people need care, protection and safe environments, over time, many children were placed in institutions which not only did not meet these needs, but meted out cruel treatment and abuse. The Committee was not in a position to conduct in-depth historical research into changes in child welfare practices in each jurisdiction.
Much of the information provided below relates to New South Wales and Victoria, however indications are that these examples would be similar in other States. No comprehensive histories about the States' establishment of separate social welfare departments are available, presumably because such issues have always been a State responsibility, with myriad arrangements to accommodate them.
It seems too that the administrative structures within which child welfare issues rest have been largely ignored by historians and governments alike. Further, any attention which they have received has usually been for reasons unrelated to the needs of child welfare issues. While these issues have been described under a of headings, they have an obvious nexus in terms of their relationship and interaction with each other. Fromcolonial New South Wales needed care for children who were orphaned or whose parents were in jail, destitute or experiencing some misfortune. Further the systems of control which were introduced to colonies like Australia were imposed in a society which was also in the process of dispossessing the indigenous community.
Of ificance was the power of organisations such as churches and 'child-saving'  lobbyists, overlaid by the non-uniformity of standards, laws and government policies among the colonies, which continued after Federation inand became a hallmark of Australia's federal system. Further, colonial governments' involvement in policy decisions about the fate of children who needed some form of out-of-home care, may have been determined by what was politically and economically feasible, which in turn was subject to the influences of the media and public opinion.
Such fluctuations continued until the s when governments became more involved in child welfare and moves began to close large institutions for children. The Commission noted the violence meted out to girls at the Biloela Asylum,  many of whom had black eyes, bruises and bloody noses.
The Randwick Destitute Children's Asylum, set up in the s, also came under the Commission's critical eye, for many reasons including because it was said to be a barracks-like environment which bred barrack children. Other groups such as leading child saving experts also opposed institutional life for children. Financial difficulties in Tasmania meant that many children were boarded out untilwhen the government again funded the orphanages.
NSW looking for mid 30s Victoria, while pressures to deal with its child welfare problems initially focused on institutions, the earliest responses, in the late s, had centred on boarding-out schemes. The s saw the establishment of a of institutions commencing in with the Melbourne Orphan Asylum, and further boarding out schemes were established in the s.
This led to problems in securing inspectors to supervise the over 8 boarded-out children and hence Queensland State children were returned to institutions. Boarding-out was still in its infancy in in Western Australia, because government officials considered that there were insufficient suitable homes in the colony.
Another shift started and occurred at different rates in different states. In Queensland NSW looking for mid 30s percentage of State children in institutions doubled during but declined slowly in the s. By contrast, in Victoria, by the early s, around half the state wards were in institutions, increasing to 85 per cent in the early s and only starting to decline late in the decade.
By there were 17 such children in Australia receiving State care, three-quarters of whom were fostered while the remaining one-quarter were in institutions. Issues about the cost of maintaining orphanages were ificant and by the mids served as an incentive for governments to find alternatives.
The s Hay the end of the orphanage system and in the s and s many large children's homes were closed down.
If regimentation, isolation from the community, lack of independence, dignity and privacy, poor quality of care, and control by others were seen as the essence of an institution, then there is little wonder that social reformers and health and welfare advocates of the s and s argued for deinstitutionalisation. Bythe State's Welfare Reception Home was the only State out-of-care facility and the Government started to provide direct out-of-home care. I feel though things may get tough, a mother or father should never be forced to give up their children to any institution or home if it is at all possible to stay together, because after all only needs to know they are truly loved and wanted.
More information about the trend towards the use of foster care and contemporary foster issues will be discussed in a second volume of this report. In colonial New South Wales, government-subsidised committees ran the voluntary institutions. In the responsibility for orphan schools was transferred to the Anglican Archdeacon and in funds were provided to Catholic institutions. This pattern of government and private t control remained for over a century.
This was demonstrated in by the success of child savers who favoured boarding-out systems in persuading the New South Wales Government to establish the State Children's Relief Board, which then implemented a policy to pay subsidies to families with boarded-out children. For example, in the s and s, colonial governments appointed inspectors or superintendents to inspect and report on all charitable institutions which received government subsidies.
In New South Wales the anti-institutionalisation stance fell into disrepute. This move marked a rethink about ways to house children and a return to the use of institutions. However, orphanages' operations essentially remained the same until the s. However, from the government increased its involvement in direct services, coupled with the tighter government standards for non-government homes. The Victorian department's increased participation reflected the growing recognition of the importance of retaining the parents in their children's lives. Under the Victorian Children's Welfare Actthe government established its own institutions for children and young offenders.
However, the Victorian Government continued to rely on the non-government sector until the s and s. Without the voluntary children's homes it would have been impossible for the Victorian government to carry out its residential child care function in the s and s. Some key points about The role of charitable, mainly religious, bodies in the provision of out-of-home care has been paramount.
This coincided with moves towards foster care. The Social Welfare Act in Victoria saw the establishment of a separate Social Welfare Department and various processes commenced including moves to keep NSW looking for mid 30s in care closer to their families.
However, the orphanage system was very poorly funded and the government sought to reduce spending on children's institutions. Until the reforms of the Report of the Committee on Child Welfare Hay and a Public Service Commissionthe department was massively under resourced and standards for the care of State children were poor.
Generally prior to that, child welfare departments, however styled, had been part of other government departments. The point was made often that welfare departments seemed to be obsessed with regulating adolescent sexual behaviour, particularly that of girls. While such notions dated back to very early eras, they pervaded institutions up to the s. I was made a state ward at 15, in the early s, after years of ineffectual intervention by a of welfare organisations - government and non-government - as well as the police I had to cope with sexual assaults from my stepfather and an uncle.
By my 12 th birthday, I had been to 20 different primary schools and had lived, variously, in Salvation Army hostels, foster care, orphanages, Housing Commission accommodation, motels, and an endless series of ad hoc, low-quality rentals. I had been repeatedly removed from my family and placed in care. I believe the people employed by the Child Welfare Department should be made able for the emotional, physical and mental abuse they bestowed on the young people who went through the system.
Many of them are still living and their actions Hay be investigated.
Some of the officers were very good and decent people, others were vicious and child abusers Shame on the Department of Child Welfare, shame, shame, shame!!! ificantly, when legislative definitions of children who could be made state wards were broadened, the s coming into homes increased as did the need for more institutions.
It was not true for all children in institutions. We were paying for wards and we were paying for some proportion of privately placed children whose parents could not afford to pay for them. However, the relationship between the State and agencies altered after the Public Charities Commission. The government ceased its funding to the homes which continued, but became dependant on private funds.
If say a year has gone by and the agreed payments from the parents have not been coming in, it may well be at that point that the government supported the children. It was really driven by the finances in terms of trying to make sure that Hay was some income The New South Wales Government favoured its boarding-out policies but in amended the Child Welfare Act to provide an allowance for children in homes, payable only where the parents permitted their children to become state wards.
This practice became an administrative nightmare and in the Act was amended again to eliminate the requirement for wardship. It seems that relations between the government and non-government sectors were difficult at times. In evidence NSW looking for mid 30s the Committee, Ms Gaffney said that the government might, with no warning, decide not to reimburse organisations for children's expenses:. I am not saying that that is a standard feature of the relationship, but you have little things like that, where the non-government organisations have maybe done everything they can and the government plays games or tightens its belt without necessarily telling them.
It is my impression, in some respects, that non-government organisations or institutions were sometimes put over a barrel. They became dependent upon state funding. They became dependent upon receiving state wards because of the per head funding. When they complained they were receiving unsuitable wards I have read file notes that said: 'This institution needs our money so we can threaten them with stopping sending them wards. They will accept any ward we want because they need our money. That marks Victorian welfare very much.
It is an assumption that non-governments will provide these services-we can change the legislation and throw the of children at them that we want; they will still pick up the children and provide the services. Here is the assumption that the government plays non-governments off against each other-the idea that if you will not take that ward because you think he is difficult, too bad; we will just remove all the wards and remove all your money.Hay, NSW looking for mid 30s
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Historical Background about Child Welfare