Receiving agency is the name given to the organisation which was named as the custodian of children who were sent to WA as migrants from the UK or Malta. The term is used mostly for post-World War II migration, but includes some organisations that were responsible for children who came earlier in the century.
Lost Innocents: Righting the Record Report on Child Migration (p.28) outlined the role of the receiving agencies in WA, where the State Government was the guardian of the child and the receiving agency was the child's custodian:
After the Commonwealth Minister for Immigration delegated his powers to the Western Australian Under Secretary for Lands and Immigration in 1947, 61 indentures were drawn up between the custodians (the receiving agencies) and the guardian, dealing with the respective responsibilities for the care of migrant children. Under the terms of the indenture each custodian agreed to '(1) bear all responsibility for the care and welfare of the children (2) not remove them from the place specified without consent, and (3) in all things comply with the provisions on its part relating to such children and contained in the Immigration (Guardianship of Children) Act 1946, and in the Child Welfare Act 1907-41 and the regulations made thereunder and amendments thereto'. At the same time, the Child Welfare Department agreed to assume an inspectorial role over child migrants, to assist the Lands and Immigration Department in fulfilling its responsibilities.
The key receiving agencies responsible for the custodianship of children sent as migrants to Western Australia were:
Sources used to compile this entry: Coldrey, Barry M., The Scheme: the Christian Brothers and Childcare in Western Australia, Argyle-Pacific Pub., O'Connor, W.A., 1993. p.127.; Parliament of Australia Senate, Lost Innocents: Righting the Record Report on Child Migration, Community Affairs References Committee, Senate Printing Unit, Canberra, 2001, http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Senate/Community_Affairs/completed_inquiries/1999-02/child_migrat/report/index.htm. p.28..
Prepared by: Debra Rosser
Created: 5 November 2012, Last modified: 2 March 2015