The Community Welfare Act 1982 (76/1982) was an Act that modernised and consolidated the Child Welfare Act 1939 and other Acts that related to children. The Act stated that the welfare and interests of children were to be given 'paramount consideration', that children should be , and that there should be 'no interruption of parental rights contrary to the wishes of children and their parents.' An important provision of the Community Welfare Act was that the neglect of children had to be proved beyond reasonable doubt. It introduced some provisions for disability ('handicapped persons'). The Act created the Community Welfare Advisory Council and the New South Wales Advisory Council on the Handicapped, and a Community Services Training Council to assist with training staff of the Department of Youth and Community Services. This Act was repealed by the Miscellaneous Acts (Community Welfare) Repeal and Amendment Act 1987.
The Community Welfare Act 1982 was the result of a series of election promises to overhaul child welfare that had been made by the Wran Labor Government in 1976. The Government began a consultation process with a Green Paper in 1978 and had failed to pass a Community Welfare Bill in 1981.
Sources used to compile this entry: Thinee, Kristy and Bradford, Tracy, Connecting Kin: Guide to Records, A guide to help people separated from their families search for their records [completed in 1998], New South Wales Department of Community Services, Sydney, New South Wales, 1998, http://nma.gov.au/blogs/inside/files/2011/02/connectkin_guide1.pdf.
Prepared by: Naomi Parry and Liam Hogan
Created: 21 February 2011, Last modified: 1 February 2018