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Adoption

Adoption is the legal process by which a person legally becomes a child of the adoptive parent(s) and legally ceases to be a child of his/her existing parent(s). The first adoption law to be passed in Australia was in the Colony of Western Australia in 1896, and other jurisdictions followed with their own legislation. However,…

Compound

A compound was an area in which Aboriginal people were confined within a town district. This concept was developed by Baldwin Spencer when he was Chief Protector of Aboriginals as a way of separating and controlling Aboriginal people in the Northern Territory. Compounds were to be self-sufficient and Aboriginal people were expected to carry out…

Annexe

Annexe is a term used to describe a smaller residential facility that is part of a larger institution. For example, the Victoria Park (Riverbank) Annexe was part of the youth detention facility, Riverbank, even though it was located many miles distant. Click here to see the full Find & Connect glossary

Private Hostel

Private Hostel was a term from Western Australia to describe a place that provided residential accommodation for people with intellectual disabilities which was not operated by or on behalf of the Western Australian or Commonwealth government. Private hostels were licensed by the Minister for Health and could be funded and regulated by government. The term…

Custodial Care

Custodial Care describes a model that was historically used on many people with intellectual disabilities or mental illness. In a custodial care model, a person was not given any treatment to help them improve from their condition at admission. Many children with intellectual disabilities in psychiatric hospitals up to the 1960s suffered as a result…

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. Click here…

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. A Western Australian newspaper article from 1935 described the purpose of farm schools: The policy has been to remove unemployed youth from the scrap heap of idleness, train them, and place…

Community Support Hostel

The Community Support Hostel program was introduced in Western Australia in 1984 by the Department for Community Welfare. These hostels were for children and young people with complex needs who couldn’t be placed in foster care. They accommodated up to 8 children aged from 6 to 17. From 1987, community support hostels also accommodated children…

Borstal

A borstal (or borstall) was a reformatory for young offenders aged about 16 to 21. The term was used between about 1920 and 1970. Click here to see the full Find & Connect glossary

Emergency Care

Emergency care, being short term, immediate care for children in need, was provided in different ways. Government and non-government Homes provided emergency care. Emergency foster care was also sometimes available. A state’s main children’s ‘depot’ or receiving Home was sometimes used for emergency care. Click here to see the full Find & Connect glossary