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

Board of Management

The Board of Management was a group of appointed or elected persons responsible for overseeing the administration of a non-government children’s Home or other institution. Boards had varying levels of responsibility and might have overseen such aspects as financial management, staffing, applications for admission, health, education, rules and regulations and general maintenance of the institution….

Benevolent Asylum

Benevolent Asylums were private institutions set up in the nineteenth century to house ‘destitute’ men, women and children, expectant mothers (lying-in) as well as ‘deserted wives’, ‘waifs’, ‘neglected children’ and ‘orphans’. Click here to see the full Find & Connect glossary

Babies’ Home

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…

Baby Farming

Baby farming is a term that first appeared in the British press in 1867 to describe the practice of placing infants in private homes to be nursed and boarded, for a fee. Ideally, the infant was breastfed by a wet-nurse but if this was not possible, infants were fed artificially with cows’ milk. This was…

Boarding Out

Boarding out was the term used to describe the placement of children and young people in foster care in private homes. Nineteenth century reformers advocated boarding out because it provided more of a family life than the big institutions. Under the boarding out system, government agencies paid foster parents a weekly fee – the boarding…