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Australian Capital Territory - Legislation

Child Welfare Ordinance 1957 (1958 - 1988)

  • Child Welfare Ordinance 1957

    Child Welfare Ordinance 1957, courtesy of AustLII: Australasian Legal Information Institute.

Principal Act

The Child Welfare Ordinance 1957 (Act no. 17/1957) ended the application of NSW child welfare legislation in the ACT. A child committed to an institution by an ACT court could still be removed to NSW for detention and maintenance in a State institution. It commenced on 1 March 1958, and was repealed by the Children's Services Act 1986 on 26 April 1988.


The Ordinance specified that where a court committed a child or young person to the care of the Minister on the grounds that the child was 'neglected,' or where a parent had consented to the admission of a child or young person to government control, the child could be apprenticed, boarded out, placed out or placed as an adopted boarder. The court could also commit a 'neglected' child to an institution.

The 1957 Ordinance was amended by the Child Welfare Amendment Ordinance 1979 (Cth) - which removed the powers of the Minister to place a ward as an adopted boarder or apprentice. Instead the minister was to provide accommodation and maintenance for the child admitted to government control. The minister could revoke an admission to government control on the application of a relative.

Amended by Act No.14 1962, Act No.27 1968, Act No.17 1969, Act No.32 1971, Act No.36 1973, Act No.47 1974, Act No.17 1975, Act No.65 1977, Act No.8 1979 , Act No.25 1979, Act no.57 1982, Act No.9 1985, Act No.59 1985, Act No.66 1985, Act No.67 1985, Act No.26 1987


 1935 - 1941 Juvenile Offenders (Detention) Ordinance 1935
       1940 - 1958 Juvenile Offenders (Probation) Ordinance 1940
       1941 - 1958 Juvenile Offenders Ordinance 1941
             1958 - 1988 Child Welfare Ordinance 1957
                   1987 - 2000 Children's Services Act 1986
                         1999 - 2009 Children and Young People Act 1999
                               2008 - Children and Young People Act 2008

Related Events

Related Glossary Terms

Related Organisations


Online Resources


Child Welfare Ordinance 1957
Child Welfare Ordinance 1957
AustLII: Australasian Legal Information Institute


Sources used to compile this entry: 'Australian Capital Territory: Provisions of the legislations', in To remove and protect: laws that changed Aboriginal lives, Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies, 2009,; Parry, Naomi, 'Child Welfare Department (1923-1970)', in Find & Connect New South Wales, Commonwealth of Australia, 2011,; Law Research Service, Melbourne Law School, Law Library, The University of Melbourne. 'Find and Connect Project - Northern Territory Legislation', 1 February 2013, held in the project files at the University of Melbourne eScholarship Research Centre.

Prepared by: Lydia Connell and Christine Moje