Northern Territory Welfare Branch and successors
Correspondence files relating to children with "C" prefix are files about children in the care of, or assisted in some way by the Welfare Branch and its successors. Each file carries the name of an individual child. The files generally consist of letters, reports and other documents about the placement of children. The files relate to both Aboriginal and non Aboriginal children in care in the Northern Territory and interstate.
Most government records in the Northern Territory are open for research 30 years after the end of the year in which the records were created. Some records, however, are subject to restrictions due to their sensitive or confidential nature. This is the case with many records related to children under the care of the government. These records are restricted for 100 years from the date of their creation.
To apply for access to closed records, you will need to write to the Northern Territory Archives Service. The government agency responsible for the records you wish to access will then consider the granting of access. This is done on a case by case basis. Please contact the Archives for assistance and further information about how to apply for access to closed records. A number of Fact Sheets for researchers are also available on the Archives website.
The files in this series were indexed during 2011-2014. The kind of information collected in each index includes: client name (including aliases and nicknames), date of birth, birth parent names, names of foster and/or adoptive parents, sibling names, names and locations of other institutions (Northern Territory or interstate - non government or church organisation, and other state welfare institutions or hospitals), other file numbers or references, and whether there are photographs on file.
These Correspondence files are listed by number and year and have a "C" in front of this number to identify it as part of the series related to 'Children'. Each file carries the name of an individual child and although listed by the year of creation these files contain correspondence for the entire time that the child was 'in care'. The files relate to both Aboriginal and non Aboriginal children in care in the Northern Territory and interstate.
It is unclear without examining a file in more detail whether a child is a State Child under the care of the Welfare Department or not. Many files have a 'Child Welfare' form attached to the inside cover which can clarify this. Many concern Aboriginal children placed interstate for education under the 'Part Aboriginal Education Scheme'. Files also relate to the fostering and adoption of children. The files generally consist of letters, reports and other documents about the placement of children.
Sources used to compile this entry: Guide to Archives Relating to Aboriginal People, Northern Territory Archives Service, Northern Territory Government, 8 April 2010.
Prepared by: Karen George and Gary George
Created: 27 August 2012, Last modified: 10 December 2014