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Victoria - Organisation

Department of Human Services (1995 - 2014)

State Government of Victoria

December 2014
Care Provider, Government Department and Records Holder
Alternative Names
  • DHS (Acronym)

In 1995 the Victorian Department of Human Services (DHS) became responsible for dealing with children placed in the care of the state. This child welfare 'function' has been the responsibility of many different government agencies in Victoria since 1864. Most records of the predecessor agencies of DHS remained in the custody of DHS. Other records were held by Public Record Office Victoria (PROV). On 1 January 2015 the Department of Human Services ceased to exist and its functions were transferred to the new Department of Health & Human Services (DHSS).


 1864 - 1887 Department of Industrial and Reformatory Schools
       1887 - 1900 Department for Neglected Children
             1901 - 1924 Department for Neglected Children
                   1924 - 1960 Children's Welfare Department
                         1960 - 1970 Social Welfare Branch
                               1970 - 1978 Social Welfare Department
                                     1978 - 1985 Department of Community Welfare Services
                                           1985 - 1992 Community Services Victoria
                                                 1992 - 1995 Health and Community Services
                                                       1995 - 2014 Department of Human Services
                                                             2015 - Department of Health & Human Services

Related Archival Collections

Related Organisations


Online Resources

Sources used to compile this entry: 'Submission 68', in Commonwealth Contribution to Former Forced Adoption Policies and Practices: submissions received by the Committee, Commonwealth of Australia, 2011,; Public Record Office Victoria, Adoption, Ward of State and Care Leaver records, Government of Victoria, 2020,

Prepared by: Cate O'Neill