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Western Australia - Organisation

State Children Department (1917 - 1927)

State of Western Australia

1 January 1917
22 December 1927
Adoption Agency, Care Provider and Government Department

The Western Australian State Children Department existed between 1 January 1917 and 22 December 1927. The State Children Department was an early preceding agency to the Department for Communities and the Department for Child Protection and Family Support which were established in 2007.


The State Records Office website provides an overview of the State Children Department:

Following a change of permanent head, the Public Charities and Children's Department became one department, the State Children's Department in 1917, to reflect the greater emphasis placed on protection of juveniles.

In 1927 the Child Welfare Act replaced the State Children Act and the departmental name was changed accordingly. The Department continued to be responsible for the Perth Children's Court.

Sydney Watson held the position of Secretary, State Children Department (Western Australia) from 1917-1927 before becoming the Secretary of the Child Welfare Department was established.


 1874 - 1908 Superintendent of Poor Relief and Inspector of Charitable Institutions
       1908 - 1917 Public Charities and State Children Department
             1917 - 1927 State Children Department
                   1927 - 1972 Child Welfare Department
                         1972 - 1985 Department for Community Welfare
                               1985 - 1992 Department for Community Services
                                     1992 - 1995 Department for Community Development
                                           1995 - 2001 Department for Family and Children's Services
                                                 2001 - 2007 Department for Community Development
                                                       2007 - 2013 Department for Communities
                                                       2007 - 2013 Department for Child Protection
                                                             2013 - 2017 Department of Local Government and Communities
                                                             2013 - 2017 Department for Child Protection and Family Support
                                                                   2017 - Department of Communities
                                                                   2017 - Department of Communities
                                                                   2017 - Child Protection and Family Support
                                                                   2017 - Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries

Provided 'Care' At

Related Archival Items

Related Archival Series

Related Organisations


Book Sections

  • 'Colonial Secretary's Department', in JS Battye (ed.), The Cyclopedia of Western Australia (1912), vol. 1, Hesperian Press, Victoria Park, 1985, pp. 502-507. Details


  • Annual report of the State Children Department, State Children's Department, [Perth, W.A.], 1908-1927. Details

Online Resources

Sources used to compile this entry: 'AU WA A37 - State Children's Department', in State Records Office of Western Australia - Organisations & People, State Records Office of Western Australia, 2015,

Prepared by: Leanne Howard and Debra Rosser