In 1970, the Child Welfare Division had a Head Office in Hobart and three District Offices in Hobart, Launceston and Burnie. Following de-centralisation of the Department in about 1974, it had Sub-District Offices in Queenstown, Devonport, and George Town. In 1975, after the collapse of the Tasman Bridge, it also opened a Sub-District Office in Bellerive.
The Division investigated the proposed homes and employment of child migrants, liaised with the organisations that brought them to Australia, and acted as their guardians under delegation from the Commonwealth Minister of Immigration.
Under the Matrimonial Causes Act 1959, at the court's request, child welfare officers employed by the Division investigated the plans made by divorcing parents to look after their children.
In 1961, the Division took over responsibility for adoptions from the Registrar-General's Department. Women child welfare officers approved potential adoptive parents, talked to relinquishing mothers, and found placements for their babies. By the 1970s, many more mothers were able to keep their babies. This meant that the welfare officer's role changed to helping the mother to make the decision and, if she kept the baby, putting her on the single mother's allowance, and maintaining regular contact in order to offer support.
Child Welfare Officers employed by the Child Welfare Division registered and monitored foster Homes. They supervised state wards and other children coming under the auspices of the Social Welfare Department and its successors. From the 1970s onwards, the approach became more preventive and the officers worked with families in an attempt to make it less likely that their children would become state wards.
The Division managed the Department's receiving homes, Malmesbury Girls' Home, Wybra Hall, Weeroona Girls' Training Centre, Ashley Home for Boys, and West Winds Boys' Home.
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The Find & Connect Support Service can help people who lived in orphanages and children's institutions look for their records.
27 January 2022
Cite this: http://www.findandconnect.gov.au/guide/tas/TE00279
First published by the Find & Connect Web Resource Project for the Commonwealth of Australia, 2011
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