The Orphanages Act 1879 permitted destitute or deserted children under the age of 12 years to be sent to an orphanage and to remain there until they reached 12 years of age, unless boarded out with a 'trustworthy and respectable person' or hired out or apprenticed. A child could be hired out or become an apprentice at 10 years of age. At this time, the state subsidised orphanages in Brisbane, Rockhampton and Townsville, and an inspector of orphanages was appointed. Parents or relatives of children living in these institutions were expected to contribute to their support.
The position of Inspector of Orphanages was created under the Orphanages Act 1879. Charles Horrocks, born in Weimar, Germany in 1844, was Inspector of Orphanages from 6 November 1884 until his death on 20 October 1896.
As Inspector, Horrocks sought and obtained government approval for the age limit for employment of orphans and children in care to be raised to twelve years. He also helped to develop the boarding out system of child protection (fostering and employment) in Queensland.
He was a delegate at the 1891 Intercolonial Charities Conference in Melbourne, representing the Queensland Government. He presented a report to government in 1891 recommending that the child protective and corrective structures in Queensland should be united in one department under a single director. The State Children Act1911 implemented some of Horrocks's proposed reforms.
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The Find & Connect Support Service can help people who lived in orphanages and children's institutions look for their records.
11 October 2018
Cite this: http://www.findandconnect.gov.au/guide/qld/QE00006
First published by the Find & Connect Web Resource Project for the Commonwealth of Australia, 2011
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