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New South Wales - Archival Series

Substitute Care (State Ward 'B') Files (1955 - )


Substitute Care (State Ward 'B') Files are records relating to children and young persons up to eighteen years of age admitted or committed to the care of the Minister to be dealt with as State wards. The information on each file varies, but comprises records such as court orders, reports, correspondence and requests for adoption.


Access Conditions

Access to these records is restricted. People wishing to access restricted records can either contact their nearest Community Services Centre to apply or they can post the information; an application form must be completed together with proof of identity provided.


Children and young people deemed to be state wards were were placed in departmental establishments, residential or foster care programs, or with non-government agencies.

State Ward 'B' files were created for children and young people in 'care' from 1955. Although the information on each file varies, the records include: orders of court, reports on wards and foster Homes, correspondence concerning name changes and requests for adoption are included.

If a ward was put up for adoption, the State Ward 'B' File was discontinued. Otherwise, the State Ward file was discontinued when the young people turned 18.

The guide Connecting Kin (1998) stated that the Department held over 53,000 State Ward 'B' files.


Online Resources

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,

Prepared by: Melissa Downing