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Tasmania - Organisation

Department for Community Welfare (1983 - 1989)

From
1983
To
1989
Categories
Government Department

The Department for Community Welfare replaced the Social Welfare Department in 1983. It provided financial and other assistance to people with inadequate incomes and managed children's services, including the supervision of state wards. In July 1989, the Department was amalgamated with the Housing Department and Corrective Services to form the new Department of Community Services.

Details

The name change from Social Welfare Department to the Department for Community Welfare reflected a shift towards preventative and supportive programs.

Like the Social Welfare Department in its later phase, the Department for Community Welfare placed an increasing emphasis on keeping children with their families whenever possible. They used a range of measures to do this. Two of these were introducing interim orders, which delayed making a child a ward of state, and the establishment of the Homemaker Service, which supported families in crisis. Increasingly the Domestic Service Assistance Scheme was used to give parents experiencing problems with their children a respite.

The Department for Community Welfare used family support to help families who sought help for their difficulties but whose children were not neglected or youthful offenders.
Family support involved providing the knowledge, skills and practical help that could enable people to sort their problems out. According to the Department's Annual Report of 1983, this assistance was probably the reason that the numbers of children coming into the care of the Department declined at this time.

The primary objective of the Department for Community Welfare was:

to enable individuals and families who require help to function in society to the best of their ability and to preserve, strengthen and where possible restore the family unit, by counselling, advising and assisting families and individuals in need, and by identifying and developing community support.

By 1983, the Department had a strategy for meeting this objective. It had three parts:

  • 'Primary assistance' which involved providing a 'remedial' or 'rehabilitative' service to a family or child after the crisis had already happened. This included residential care, foster care, 'custody and control' or remand of youthful offenders, legal supervision of children considered to be neglected or who were youthful offenders, and welfare counselling.

  • 'Secondary assistance' which meant preventing a crisis by helping families and children through the family assistance scheme, food orders, temporary admission of children into care, the homemaker service, childcare subsidies, preventive supervision of children, referral and information, and grants to organisations that provided emergency relief and welfare counselling.

  • 'Tertiary assistance' which was intended to make families and communities stronger through social activities and better resources. Two examples of these were the neighbourhood houses and child care.

The Department of Community Welfare had up to 2 placements for state wards in a boarding school between 1983 and 1985.

Timeline

 1873 - 1901 Charitable Grants Department
       1896 - 1901 Neglected Children's Department
             1873 - 1901 Charitable Grants Department
             1901 - 1918 Neglected Children's Department
                   1901 - 1934 Charitable Grants Department
                   1918 - 1935 Children of the State Department
                         1934 - 1961 Social Services Department
                               1961 - 1983 Social Welfare Department
                                     1983 - 1989 Department for Community Welfare
                                           1989 - 1993 Department of Community Services
                                                 1993 - 1998 Department of Community and Health Services
                                                       1998 - Department of Health and Human Services

Related Concepts

Related Glossary Terms

Related Organisations

Publications

Reports

  • Department for Community Welfare: annual report for the year ended 30 June 1983, Department of Community Welfare, Hobart, 1983. Details
  • Department for Community Welfare: annual report for the year ended 30 June 1984, Department for Community Welfare, Hobart, 1984. Details
  • Department for Community Welfare: annual report for the year ended 30 June 1985, Department for Community Welfare, Hobart, 1985. Details
  • Department for Community Welfare: annual report for the year ended 30 June 1986, Department for Community Welfare, Hobart, 1986. Details
  • Department for Community Welfare: annual report for the year ended 30 June 1988, Department for Community Welfare, Hobart, 1988. Details

Sources used to compile this entry: Department for Community Welfare: annual report for the year ended 30 June 1983, Department of Community Welfare, Hobart, 1983; Department for Community Welfare: annual report for the year ended 30 June 1984, Department for Community Welfare, Hobart, 1984; Department for Community Welfare: annual report for the year ended 30 June 1985, Department for Community Welfare, Hobart, 1985.

Prepared by: Caroline Evans